KARACHI: A sessions court on Friday sentenced a man to life imprisonment for killing his cousin in an acid attack over rejecting his marriage proposal.

Additional District and Session Judge Shahid Ali Memon convicted Shahzad for throwing acid on 29-year-old Sana, who had suffered over 25 per cent burns and later on died during treatment in the Burns Ward of the Civil Hospital Karachi.

The judge emphasised that if the accused had wanted to marry her, he should have taken a lawful step. However, his unlawful actions resulted in the tragic loss of an innocent life.

While elucidating the impact of this offence on society, the judge remarked that the offence with which the accused had been charged was not an ordinary one; “it inflicts harm upon the entire societal fabric”, adding that these days “school-going girls, teachers and common females feel insecure due to increase of such kind of acts”.

According to state prosecutor Pervaiz Hussain Solangi, the father of the victim woman told the police that in December 2021, the accused came to his house near Akhter Colony with the intention of hurting his daughter, who had rejected his marriage proposal.

He said that the accused threw a bottle of acid on her, causing her burn injuries. Upon hearing her cries, neighbours took her to the hospital where she succumbed to her injuries.

During the trial, state prosecutor Solangi presented seven witnesses to support the case against the accused and pleaded the court to award the accused an exemplary punishment.

The defence counsel argued that the accused, being a cousin of the victim, visited the house of his maternal uncle and witnessed the deceased holding a bottle containing acid in her hand. He attempted to save her.

However, the judge rejected the defence plea and inquired as to who had brought and given her the bottle of acid if indeed the deceased possessed one.

The judge observed that the accused failed to address this query adequately. “The prosecution succeeds in establishing the case against the accused… beyond any shadow of doubt,” the judge ruled in the verdict.

A case was registered at the Mahmoodabad police station under Section 336-B (punishment for hurt by corrosive substance) read with Section 302 (murder) of the Pakistan Penal Code.

Published in Dawn, April 20th, 2024

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