ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Friday rejected a request seeking transfer of the appeal against conviction of Usman Mirza and his accomplices in the couple harassment case.

The trial court on March 24 sentenced Mirza and his four accomplices to life imprisonment.

The sexual harassment case had surfaced in July 2021 after a video went viral showing the convicts maltreating a couple.

Initially, a first information report (FIR) was registered under section 341 (punishment for wrongful restraint), 354A (assault or use of criminal force against woman and stripping her of her clothes), 506 (ii) (punishment for criminal intimidation) and 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) of Pakistan Penal Code (PPC).

Later, sections pertaining to rape, sexual abuse, extortion and wrongful confinement were also added to the FIR.

Mothers of Mirza and some other convicts on Friday approached the rostrum and requested IHC Justice Mohsin Akhter Kayani for the transfer of the case, saying earlier the bench had passed an adverse order against the convicts.

Justice Kayani, however, rejected the request and asked the counsel to advance their arguments against the conviction.

In September last year, Additional District and Sessions Judge Ata Rabbani convicted Usman, Shaheen, Attaur Rehman, Adaras Qayyum Butt and Mohib Khan and sentenced them to life imprisonment with a fine of Rs200,000 each.

The victim couple during the cross-examination in January this year retracted from their statement recorded before the magistrate under section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) in which they had accused Usman and his accomplices of sexually abusing, filming and extorting money from them.

As per the 44-page verdict of the trial court, the police, who were the complainant in the case, took the suspects into custody and after registration of the FIR the victims identified them and recorded their statements before the magistrate against them.

Condoning the delay in registration of the FIR, the court stated that this was due to fear and stress and “this reason logically appeals to the common prudence because normally people do hesitate to provide the information promptly to police in such cases where honour and prestige is involved.”

Published in Dawn, July 2nd, 2022

Opinion

Editorial

The fall guy
Updated 18 Aug, 2022

The fall guy

Maryam’s public distancing from Miftah over recent fuel price hike is quite uncalled for.
Never-ending scourge
18 Aug, 2022

Never-ending scourge

POLIO eradication efforts in the country appear to have suddenly taken a giant leap backwards. A day after...
Frozen Afghan funds
18 Aug, 2022

Frozen Afghan funds

WITH Afghanistan facing a humanitarian catastrophe and economic collapse, the American decision to not release ...
No end to hostility
Updated 17 Aug, 2022

No end to hostility

It is time for all parties to rise above petty tactics and hostilities for political gains and pull country back from brink.
Deadly accidents
17 Aug, 2022

Deadly accidents

TWO horrific accidents on Tuesday, which resulted in high death tolls, illustrate the dangers people face while ...
New banknote
17 Aug, 2022

New banknote

PAKISTAN has a new currency note to mark the diamond jubilee of independence. The 75-rupee banknote, issued by the...