Tuesday, May 30, 2023
KARACHI: In yet another case of ‘honour’ killing, a model court acquitted a man accused of murdering his daughter after his wife and children pardoned him “in the name of God".
A shocking aspect of the murder was that it was committed on the premises of the City Courts.
The man, Ameer Jan, was detained and booked for allegedly shooting his 19-year-old daughter Hajira to death in the name of ‘honour’ on the premises of the City Courts where she was brought to record her statement before a judicial magistrate on January 23 this year.
Moreover, Jan had also allegedly caused firearm injuries to Head Constable Imran Zaman, who was escorting the victim and three suspects arrested in a kidnapping case lodged on the complaint of the accused, and a passer-by, Wajid Saleem.
Additional Sessions Judge Syed Waqar Hyder of the Model Criminal Trial Court (South) accepted applications filed on behalf of the accused, legal heirs of the deceased, and two other victims under sections 345(2) and 345(6) of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) seeking his acquittal on the basis of a compromise.
The legal heirs and the two persons injured in the attack said that they had reached an out-of-court settlement with the accused and had forgiven him "in the name of Allah", pleading with the judge to acquit him of all the charges.
The legal heirs of the victim who filed affidavits showing the compromise included her mother, Syed Bano, brother Usama and sisters Robina Bibi, Parveen Bibi, Zainab Bibi and Roz Bibi.
All the heirs stated in their affidavits that they had “pardoned the accused in the name of Almighty Allah without any pressure and compensation” and would have no objection to the accused’s acquittal by the court.
The judge noted that a notice regarding the compromise application was published in an Urdu daily but no one came forward to file an objection in this regard. The court had also summoned reports from the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) and police about the legal heirs of the deceased.
“Therefore, the parties seem to have patched up their grievances outside the Court and compounding of offence would drive good senses between them and same in the betterment of society as well,” he observed, adding, “The complainant (HC Zaman), another injured and legal heirs of the deceased named above have no objection if accused, Ameer Jan, is acquitted of the charge on account of compromise.”
Meanwhile, the judge also allowed an application filed by the accused under Section 265-K (power of a court to acquit an accused at any stage) of the Code of Criminal Procedure seeking his acquittal in a case pertaining to the possession of an unlicensed weapon.
Initially, an FIR was lodged at the City Court Police Station under sections 302 (premeditated murder), 324 (attempted murder) and 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty) of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) read with the Section 7 (punishment for act of terrorism) of the Anti-Terrorism Act.
Since cases registered under terror charges are non-compoundable, no compromise would have been possible. However, the administrative judge of the anti-terrorism courts struck down the terror charge observing that it was not attractive in the present case.
“Perusal of record shows that accused had no intention to create terror,” the judge had said.