PESHAWAR: Peshawar High Court granted bails to two persons in separate cases of sexually assaulting minor boys as compromises took place between the parties.

In both the cases, a single-member bench consisting of Justice Shahid Khan accepted bail petitions of the petitioners on condition of furnishing two surety bonds of Rs100,000 each.

In one of the cases, a 17-year-old accused was charged in an FIR registered at Chakdara police station, Dir Lower, on November 8, 2023, under section 376 (rape) of Pakistan Penal Code and section 53 (sexual abuse) of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Child Protection and Welfare Act.

The complainant in the FIR was father of a five-year-old child, who brought the child in injured condition to the police station. He alleged that his son had gone outside home for playing and after an hour he was brought back home by one of his nephews in injured condition.

Complainants, respondents reach compromise

The complainant stated that the child told them that he was taken to an under-construction building by a young labourer and was sexually assaulted by him. Initially, the bail petitions of the accused were rejected by an additional sessions judge in Chakdara on January 25, 2024, and high court on February 22, 2024.

Subsequently, he again moved the court on the ground of a compromise between the accused and the complainant parties. However, the trial court on April 8, 2024, rejected his plea although the complainant in his statement endorsed that he compromised the matter and had no objection on the release of the accused.

The trial court had ruled that in appropriate cases it had the power to reject the bail of an accused in a non-compoundable offence keeping in view the nature and gravity of the offence.

The high court bench, while accepting his bail plea, observed that a bare look of the record would transpire that though section 376 PPC was non-compoundable, however, when the complainant party had no more interest to pursue the case about guilt or otherwise of the accused, then even a compromise alone could be considered for the grant of bail.

The bench observed that the complainant had no objection over the liberty of the petitioner in view of the compromise. “Even today, the complainant despite service is not before the court, which prima facie means that he is not interested in further prosecution of the petitioner/accused,” the bench ruled.

In the other case, an FIR was registered at Matta police station in Swat on April 26, 2024, against the petitioner under section 376 PPC and section 53 of KP Child Protection and Welfare Act.

The complainant in the case was grandmother of a minor boy of around nine, who told police that the victim was going to the residence of his paternal aunt when he was taken to a deserted shop by the accused and was sexually assaulted there.

The bail petition of the accused, who is around 22, was earlier rejected by a child protection court in Swat on May 20, 2024, observing that he was prima facie involved in an offence involving moral turpitude.

Advocate Saeed Ahmad appeared for the petitioner before the high court and stated that the parties had patched up the matter.

The complainant and mother of the victim also submitted an affidavit wherein they had shown no objection over the release of the petitioner on bail.

The high court bench observed that the record so furnished would transpire that though section 376 PPC was non-compoundable, however, when other grounds available to the accused, prima facie, made his case one of further inquiry, then even a compromise alone could be considered for the grant of bail.

Published in Dawn, June 16th, 2024

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