KARACHI: The Special Gender-Based Violence Court (Central) on Monday sentenced a woman to 14-year imprisonment on charges of an acid attack on her ex-husband who refused to remarry her after their divorce.

The court also ordered her to pay Rs1 million fine to the state or undergo six-month additional imprisonment in case of default.

The woman, Shabana Kausar, was found guilty of throwing acid on her ex-husband Muhammad Usman within the jurisdiction of the New Town police station on Aug 20, 2021.

On Monday, Additional District and Sessions Judge Zabiha Khattak pronounced her verdict reserved earlier after recording evidence and final arguments from both sides.

The judge noted that prosecution had successfully proved its case against the accused Kausar.

The judge sentenced her to pay arsh, as 1½ of the amount of diyat for committing an offence punishable under Section 336 (punishment for itlaf-i-salahiyyat-i-udw), as provided in Section 337-R (Arsh for organs in pairs) of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC).

In the Islamic law, arsh and diyat are the financial compensation paid to the victim or legal heirs of the victim in the case of murder or bodily harm or property damage.

The judge handed down 14-year rigorous imprisonment to the convict and imposed a fine of Rs1 million to the state for committing an offence punishable under Section 336-B (punishment for hurt by corrosive substance) of the PPC.

The judge remanded the convict back to prison to serve out the remaining portion of her sentence.

However, the court extended the benefit of Section 382-B (period of detention to be considered while awarding sentence of imprisonment) of the criminal procedure code.

State prosecutor Hina Naz argued that the statement of the complainant was recorded on Aug 20, 2021 at the Burns Ward of the Civil Hospital Karachi, where he was under treatment. Later, the complainant deposed in court that his marriage with the accused was solemnised on Dec 12, 2019, but the same day her sister Yasmeen and brother Hamid disclosed the Ms Kausar was already married twice.

He further deposed that he also came to know that the accused also used to meet her ex-husband Atif, after which he had divorced her on Oct 22, 2020.

The victim deposed that after their divorce the accused contacted him again demanding that he should remarry her or she would commit suicide. On her insistence, the complainant said he arranged a rented house for the accused, went to meet her and assured her that he would re-marry her after convincing his parents.

The prosecutor pointed out that on the day of the incident the complainant went to the apartment of Ms Kausar, who asked him to stay with her but he refused upon which she brought a glass full of acid and threw it on him causing him serious burn injuries.

In her statement, recorded under Section 342 of the CrPC, the accused denied the allegations and submitted that the witnesses of the prosecution had falsely deposed against her since they were complainant’s relatives.

A case was registered under Sections 336 and 336-B of the PPC at the New Town police station on the complaint of the victim Muhammad Usman.

Published in Dawn, March 7th, 2023

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