KARACHI: The Sindh High Court on Saturday commuted the life term of a man into 10-year imprisonment in a minor girl’s rape case.
The Gender-Based Violence Court (Thatta) had sentenced Rizwan alias Noman to life in prison on two counts in December 2020 for abducting and raping a nine-year-old girl in January 2018 in the Dhabeji area.
The trial court had acquitted a co-accused for lack of evidence.
The convict had challenged the conviction order of the trial court before the SHC and after hearing both sides and examining the record and proceedings of the case, a single-judge bench headed by Justice Irshad Ali Shah maintained the conviction but commuted the sentence.
The bench in its orders stated that the counsel for the appellant stated that he would not press disposal of appeal on merit if the awarded sentence was reduced to a considerable extent by considering mitigating circumstances.
It said that the plea was not opposed either by the additional prosecutor general or by the complainant and victim, who were present in person during the proceedings.
The bench noted that the FIR of the incident was registered after a delay of one day, the co-accused had already been acquitted on the basis of same evidence and a DNA report was not brought on record.
By considering all these factors as mitigating circumstances, the bench ruled that the sentence awarded to the appellant for offence punishable under Section 364-A (kidnapping or abducting a person under the age of 15) of the Pakistan Pena Code (PPC) was reduced to seven-year rigorous.
The sentence awarded to the appellant for offence punishable under Section 376 (punishment for rape) of the PPC was commuted to 10-year rigorous imprisonment a with fine of Rs10,000 and in case of default he will undergo on-month additional imprisonment.
However, both the sentences will run concurrently as the court gave him the benefit of Section 382(b) (the period he already spent in detention is deducted from the sentence) of the criminal procedure code, it added.
Published in Dawn, March 12th, 2023
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