By: Ishaq Tanoli
KARACHI: A policeman booked for rape was released from the lock-up without even being indicted when the victim, in what appeared to be a surprise move, said she was unable to identify him in court on Wednesday.
Despite the fact that the young victim, who was a housemaid at the sub-inspector’s house, had herself nominated him and his servant in an FIR for allegedly raping her, she told a judicial magistrate on Wednesday that the policeman in custody did not rape her.
She had earlier said that her employer and his servant raped her on July 1 and forcibly detained her in the house until she got a chance to escape on July 8. She went to the Clifton police station to lodge an FIR against the suspects but the police turned down her request.
She filed an application in court under Section 22-A of the criminal procedure code seeking registration of a case against the suspects and Additional District and Sessions Judge (south) Abdul Razzaq ordered the police to record her statement and lodge an FIR against the nominated accused.
The FIR was registered on the court order on July 26 and the sub-inspector of police was arrested five days later. On Aug 1, the SI was remanded in police custody and later a court extended his physical remand.
On Wednesday, the investigation officer of the case produced the suspect before a judicial magistrate (south) to get the statement of the victim recorded.
On an application moved by the IO, the magistrate recorded the statement of the victim under Section 164 of the CrPC in the presence of the suspect.
While the victim narrated her ordeal before the magistrate, she neither deposed against the suspect nor identified him.
Pointing towards the suspect, the victim said that he was not among the two suspects who had subjected her to a sexual assault. After recording her statement, Judicial Magistrate Hatim Aziz Solangi discharged the suspect under Section 63 (discharge of person apprehended) of the CrPC.
Under Section 63 of the CrPC, a magistrate is empowered to discharge an arrested suspect before the submission of a report under Section 173 of the CrPC when evidence is insufficient or a reasonable ground of suspicion is lacking in the case.
If a suspect is found innocent by a court before a charge has been framed, he or she is said to be discharged.
According to the prosecution, the suspect with the help of his accomplice allegedly subjected his female servant to a sexual assault on July 1 in his house in Clifton and forced her to sign some documents. They allegedly kept her there for six days.
A case (FIR 153/2012) was registered under Sections 376 (punishment for rape), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating), 506-B (punishment for criminal intimidation) and 34 (common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code at the Clifton police station.