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SHC acquits man convicted of murdering wife

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court on Monday set aside the conviction of an accused, who had been jailed for life for murdering his wife in 1997, and acquitted him for lack of evidence.
The single bench judge, Justice Qaiser Iqbal, announced the judgment, which had been reserved earlier, on the appeal of the accused, Mohammad Rafiq.
An additional sessions judge, Karachi, sentenced him to life imprisonment and fined Rs50,000 payable to the legal heirs of the victim, Parveen, in February 2004. An FIR (239/1997) of the case was lodged at the TPX police station.
According to the prosecution, complainant Abdul Razzak alleged that Rafiq, second husband of his sister, a staff nurse at Malkani Hospital, murdered her over suspicion of her having a relationship with one Ali.
The appellant’s counsel contended that the court, while convicting his client, had placed reliance on his confessional statement in the absence of documentary evidence.
The counsel maintained that his client’s prolonged detention in police custody cast doubts on the case, as he was not remanded in jail custody after the confessional statement.
He stated that the alleged motive of the murder was never established as the evidence put on record by the prosecution did not support the allegation in the absence of direct or indirect evidence.
In a murder case when no eyewitness was available, reappraisal of evidence, such as the post-mortem report, was necessary, he argued.
The medico-legal officer ought to have determined the blood group of the deceased from a chemical analysis, the counsel maintained.
He prayed to the court to set aside his client’s conviction and order his release.
Justice Qaiser Iqbal said in the judgment: “For foregoing reasons, I do not uphold conviction awarded to appellant which is hereby set aside. He is acquitted of charges levelled and directed to be released forthwith, if not required in any other custody case.”
Source: Dawn
Date:3/17/2009

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