SHC sets aside conviction of two in gang rape and robbery case

Our Correspondent
Monday, Nov 28, 2022

The Sindh High Court (SHC) has set aside the life imprisonment sentence of two persons convicted by a trial court in a rape and dacoity case.

The appellants, Ubaid Hussain and Tariq Khan, were sentenced to life imprisonment and other sentences by a West additional district and sessions court for committing rape of a woman and robbing her house in January 2021.

The prosecution claimed that the appellants along with two others had barged into the woman’s house and gang-raped her in addition to stealing her mobile phone, gold and cash. A counsel for the appellants submitted that they were innocent and had been falsely implicated in the case by police at the behest of the complainant. He submitted that the FIR was lodged with unexplained delay of about one day and there had been no recovery of stolen properties from them.

The lawyer added that the identification parade was also defective and the trial court had erred in accepting doubtful evidence presented by the prosecution. A deputy prosecutor general supported the trial court order and contended that it was the case of gang rape coupled with robbery that the prosecution had been able to prove against the appellants beyond any shadow of doubt.

A single bench of the high court headed by Justice Irshad Ali Shah after hearing the arguments and perusal of the evidence of the case observed that the complainant had earlier stated that the culprits were of Sindhi-origin, but later, she stated that the culprits who subjected her to rape were of Baloch-origin.

The high court observed that the DNA reports of the appellants also did not match with the sample obtained from the complainant and if they were the final evidence, they falsified the charge of rape on the appellants.

The SHC observed that the father-in-law, mother-in-law, brother-in-law and nephew of the complainant were not examined by the prosecution even though the woman had stated that they were with her at the house at the time of the incident.

The bench observed that the investigation officer had admitted that the ownership of the house where the alleged incident had taken place had not been ascertained by him and no robbed items were recovered from the appellants’ possession.

The high court further observed that no statement of any independent person from the neighbourhood had been recorded by the investigation officer. Concluding that the prosecution had not been able to prove its case against the appellants without any shadow of doubt, the SHC announced that they were entitled to the benefit of the doubt. The high court set aside their sentence and ordered their release.