KHYBER: A court here on Thursday convicted a resident of killing his sister and another person in the name of family honour and sentenced him to death.

District and sessions judge Hidayatullah Khan pronounced that the prosecution had proved the charge against the accused, Mohammad Farooq, without any shadow of doubt and therefore, he had been declared guilty of the offence.

The court awarded the punishment of death to the accused on two counts under the Pakistan Penal Code’s sections 302 and 311 and directed him to pay the compensation of Rs500,000 each to the legal heirs of both the deceased.

It declared, “Right to life is an inviolable fundamental constitutional right and the law of the land altogether discredited murders on the pretext of honour.”

The law has banned out-of-court settlement in honour killing cases to eliminate the practice.

Khyber court also orders him to pay Rs0.5m each to families of deceased

The court observed that customs, how strong and how old they might be, couldn’t override and replace the statutory law or much so the Quranic commandments.

It added that honour killings had been left as the “choice of family” but the custom was no less than ignorance and a serious violation of human rights.

The court ruled that there was no ill will of mala fide of the police to falsely charge the accused or substitute him in place of a real culprit.

The FIR of honour killings was registered at the Milward police station on Nov 13, 2021.

ASI Saleem Khan, who was the complainant in the case, said he had received information that a case of double murder had taken place in a residence at Mirikhel area and both the deceased had been buried without postmortem.

The complainant said he reached the crime scene and learned from the residents and relatives of both deceased that Mohammad Farooq had killed his 18-year-old sister and a man in the name of family honour at home and fled.

Both bodies were exhumed on the orders of a judicial magistrate. Postmortem reports revealed that the two died from forearm injuries.

The accused was arrested on Jan 14, 2021, after a court rejected his plea for pre-arrest bail.

Parents of the slain woman had recorded statements with a judicial magistrate insisting that their daughter was murdered. They, however, refused to charge anyone with the murder. Also, the woman’s husband said he was not interested in pursuing the case.

The slain man’s father claimed that his son was killed by the accused. He, however, said since it was a case of honour killing, he did not name the accused in the case.

Senior public prosecutor Shafiullah appeared for the state and contended that the accused had escaped after the killings and didn’t even attend the funeral of his sister, an act that proved “his guilty mind.”

He added that the process of exhuming bodies was also contested by the accused’s parents, which was another proof of his involvement in the offence.

Mr Shafiullah said the deceased were buried without postmortem examination proving their killing in the name of family honour.

Published in Dawn, January 20th, 2023

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