PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court has set aside the sentence of life awarded to a person by a trial court for killing his sister-in-law and acquitted him on the basis of a compromise.

A bench consisting of Justice Mohammad Naeem Anwar and Justice Dr Khurshid Iqbal accepted an appeal filed by the convict, Laiq Badshah, a resident of Dir Lower district, and ruled that his conviction by the trial court on July 23, 2022, was set aside.

“Since, a genuine compromise has been taken place between the parties and the offence is also compoundable within the meaning of section 302 PPC, therefore, this criminal appeal is allowed on the basis of compromise,” the bench ruled.

An additional district and sessions judge while convicting the appellant for killing Ms Shazia, the wife of his bother, had sentenced him to life imprisonment with fine of Rs100,000.

The FIR of the occurrence was registered at Khal police station in Dir Lower on March 2, 2021, under section 302 (intentional murder) and 311 (Fasad Fil Arz or mischief on earth) of Pakistan Penal Code. The complainant in the FIR was the deceased woman’s brother Bakht Fareed.

Husband of deceased woman pardons convict

The complainant had told police that his sister was married to Aqal Badshah around nine years ago and she was having a seven-year-old son, Shahid Hussain, from the wedlock. He added that his brother-in-law had been in Saudi Arabia for earning livelihood.

He stated that he had received a telephone call that his sister had fallen ill and expired.

He said that in the morning, when he reached the residence of his deceased sister, he spotted marks of a string around her neck, which showed that she did not die of natural death rather was strangulated to death. The complainant stated that the motive behind the murder was some domestic issues.

The deceased’s son Shahid Hussain, who was around seven at the time of occurrence, had also testified against his uncle before the trial court. He had stated that he was sleeping but heard some noise due to which he woke up and saw his uncle strangulating his mother by pulling a string around her neck.

He had stated that he started screaming and was taken to her room by her uncle’s wife and was later told that his mother was killed by the appellant.

The bench observed that charge was framed against the appellant under section 311, which was non-compoundable offence, but no evidence was recorded in support of that charge and the trial court only recorded his conviction under section 302 PPC.

During a previous hearing, the appellant’s counsel Zakir Khan had stated that a compromise had taken place between the parties. He had requested the court for sending the record of the case to the trial court for materialising the compromise.

After the bench received report from the trial court, it was revealed that major legal heir of the deceased woman was her husband Aqal Badshah, who pardoned the appellant in the name of Almighty Allah and also waived of his right of Qisas and Diyat.

Furthermore, Diyat amount in the shape of a land had been transferred and mutated as well in the name of the minor son of the deceased woman.

Published in Dawn, March 27th, 2023

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