Court acquits couple facing Hudood charges -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Court acquits couple facing Hudood charges

HYDERABAD, May 18 2006: The Second Additional District and Sessions Judge, Hyderabad, on May 17 acquitted a couple, languishing in jail since August 2004 since their marriage, for lack of evidence in a Zina Hudood Ordinance case. A co-accused in the case was also exonerated. Ms Pathani, 26, her husband Abdul Sattar and his brother, Dhani Bux were charged in a case lodged with the Bulri Shah Karim Police on the complaint of Pathani’s brother, Abdul Kareem Khaskheli, under sections 10-16 Zina Hudood Ordinance 1979, 494 and 495 PPC after she married Abdul Sattar.

The three were arrested on August 12, 2004 and sent to jail. Ms. Pathani languished in women’s jail while her husband and his brother were confined in central prison after the charge-sheet was submitted against them before the judicial magistrate Tando Mohammad Khan.

The defence counsel Advocate Ayaz Tunio contended before the court that woman’s brother did not support the case because they claimed that she was living with them in their house after her first marriage with Urs, who had divorced her. He said that the complainant claimed before the court that they came to know about her divorce later-on while the FIR had been lodged by them. He also argued that allegations in FIR were vague and section 10-16 of ZHO had been wrongly applied by police.

The woman had recorded her statement before the judicial magistrate Tando Mohammad Khan under section 164 Cr. PC, saying that she was married to Abdul Sattar and charges levelled in the FIR against her were false and fabricated. She told the magistrate that she had been divorced by her first husband and she had a child out of the wedlock. She stated that her second marriage took place after passage of seven to eight years of divorce.

During the visit of outgoing Chief Justice of the High Court of Sindh, Justice Syed Saeed Ashhad, he had directed speedy disposal of cases, pending against woman by holding daily trial of such cases. In the said meeting the additional sessions judge Tando Mohammad Khan informed the CJ that Mrs.Pathani was not being produced before the court since September 9, 2004. On an application of defence counsel before the sessions judge, Hyderabad, the case was transferred to the court of the first additional district and sessions judge which framed charges.

Since then the court remained vacant and the woman gave birth to a baby girl during her imprisonment in women prison. Mr.Tunio again moved an application before the Sindh High Court Hyderabad circuit, praying for transfer of case which was allowed by court, ordering transfer of case to second additional district and sessions judge.

The court recorded statements of complainant and two prosecution witnesses, Maula Bux and Samoon before ordering acquittal of three accused in the case. The case was challaned on August 27, 2004.
Source: Dawn
Date:5/18/2006