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Friday Jan 15 2021
Web Desk

LHC suspends sessions court order directing police to register case against Babar Azam

Web Desk
Hamiza Mukhtar (L) alleged that Pakistani captain Babar Azam (R) had sexually assaulted her. Photo: file

  • Court asks Naseerabad SHO and Hamiza Mukhtar to submit responses by Feb 8
  • Babar Azam tells LHC that sessions court had ordered the registering of case while ignoring facts
  • Cricketer requests LHC to declare sessions court order illegal

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Friday suspended a sessions court order directing the police to register a case against Pakistan cricket team captain Babar Azam on a complaint of a woman accusing the cricketer of sexual harassment.

LHC’s Justice Asjad Javaid Ghural, while suspending the order, also directed the Naseerabad SHO and Hamiza Mukhtar to submit their responses in the case by February 8.

In the petition, Azam has stated that the sessions court ordered the registering of the case against him while ignoring facts. His counsel contended that Hamiza had filed a “fake case" against Azam to “blackmail” him.

Read more: Woman who accused Babar Azam of 'sexual assault' alleges 'murder attempt'

He said that the woman settled the case with Azam in 2018. The petition added that the police have also rejected the claim of Hamiza receiving threatening calls from his client.

Azam urged the court to declare the order of the sessions court illegal.

Court orders police to record statement of woman

On Thursday, a sessions court had directed Naseerabad police to record the statement of the woman who accused Azam of sexually assaulting her.

The woman, identified as Hamiza Mukhtar, had filed a petition against Babar at the sessions court in December 2020, in which she claimed to be the batsman's neighbour and old school mate.

She said the cricketer had "tricked her into love" and "tortured" her when she demanded he marries her. She further alleged that she financially supported Babar when he was a "struggling cricketer," adding that she spent "millions of rupees on him".

A counsel for the petitioner had argued before the court that Babar allegedly raped their client under the false pretext of marriage.

Read more: Woman who accused Babar Azam of 'sexual assault' did not provide concrete evidence, say police

"The petitioner and Babar were in love and had illicit relations, and she got pregnant out of the relationship in 2015", the woman's counsel said, adding that the accused, "in connivance with his friends, managed an abortion."

Issuing a ruling on the petition, Lahore Additional Sessions Judge Muhammad Naeem directed the police to record the statement of the woman under Section 154 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, saying that it was "a sensitive matter and the police should take immediate action as per the law."

The court also ordered Hamiza to appear before the assigned Station House Officer (SHO) and get her statement recorded.

Neither Babar Azam nor the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has issued any official statements regarding the matter.