Verdict reserved in rape-murder case of minor girl
Rawalpindi Additional District and Sessions Judge Masood Akhtar Kiyani on reserved his judgement in the trial of one Waliullah Khan, who stands accused for raping and then smothering to death his seven-year-old niece Sidra in November 2019. The final verdict will be disclosed tomorrow on Saturday, January 30.
The victim’s father, Noorullah Khan, has been represented pro-bono for the past 16 months of the trial Najaf Al-Husnain, Saima Bukhari and head of the Human Rights Committee Masood Al-Hassan Shah. Although the accused had asked for forgiveness, the victim’s parents have turned him down.
ATC’s trial of underage killer of blasphemy-accused opposed
Advocate Shabbir Hussain Gigyani, counsel for a juvenile offender who gunned down an undertrial blasphemy-accused in the Peshawar Judicial Complex in July 2020, has contended that an anti-terrorism court (ATC) has no jurisdiction in trying juveniles. He further requested for the transfer of the trial to a district and sessions court so it may proceed in a juvenile court per Pakistan’s Juvenile Justice Systems Act, 2018.
The counsel pointed out that section 4 of the Act gave certain courts exclusive jurisdiction over trying underage offenders, designated via a notification issued by the government in consultation with the high courts in the gazette. Per a January 2019 notification issued by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government, only district and sessions judges, additional district and sessions judges and judicial magistrates have been notified to try juveniles. He moreover argued that section 23 of the Juvenile Justice Systems Acts gave its provisions the power to override other laws for the time being.
Death awarded to minor girl’s rapist-murderer
A Bahawalnagar ATC awarded death on five counts to one Azhar Machi for raping and murdering a seven-year-old girl in Thengi Balochān, Chishtian in August 2019. According to the police, the girl had left to attend a seminary but did not return. She was later found dead in a field.
DNA samples were collected from around 30 individuals but no match was found. Police were able to apprehend Azhar on suspicion, a resident of a nearby village, whose DNA matched the samples found on the deceased’s body. The suspect confessed that he had abducted the girl and raped her in a nearby field before strangling her to death with her own dupatta.