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Two lawyers granted bail in gang-rape case

KARACHI, Jan 13: Two lawyers allegedly involved in the gang-rape of an 18-year-old girl in the Ferozabad area were enlarged on bail by a district and sessions court on Tuesday.

Additional District and Sessions Judge (east) Sanaullah Ghori granted bail to both the suspects against the surety bond of Rs100,000 each after recording arguments from both sides.

On Nov 22, the police had arrested a lawyer from his apartment in the limits of the Ferozabad police station for his alleged involvement in the case. On a lead provided by the arrested lawyer the police also apprehended his friend, who is also a lawyer. Both of them were remanded in judicial custody on Nov 24.

The counsel for the suspects, Iqtidar Ali Hashmi, argued that the medical certificates of the victims and the report of the chemical examiner had confirmed that his clients were not involved in the case. They were, he asserted, implicated in the case.He prayed to the court to allow the bail applications of his clients.

However, the public prosecutor, Amir Dasti, opposed the plea by arguing that the DNA report has yet to be received and one of the victims in her statement recorded by a judicial magistrate under Section 164 of the criminal procedure code said that both the suspects were involved in the gang-rape. He prayed to the court to dismiss the bail applications.

According to the prosecution, the victim, hailing from Gujranwala, along with her sister, had come to Karachi on Nov 17, 2008 to embrace Islam since their parents and relatives were against it. The girls, who then belonged to the Christian faith, had travelled with a Karachi-based family, and on the following day the family head, Mohammad Rafique, took both the girls to a lawyer for legal formalities regarding conversion and to hand them over to a shelter home, it said.

However, the lawyer along with his friend took the girls to his apartment in the Tariq Road area and allegedly raped the 18-year-old girl. The suspects also made an unsuccessful attempt to sexually assault her younger sister but she resisted and got an opportunity to call Rafique through her mobile phone, the prosecution added.

A case (FIR1213/08) was registered against the accused under Sections 342 (punishment for wrongful confinement), 365-B (kidnapping for rape), 376-B (punishment for gang-rape) and 34 (common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code at the Ferozabad police station.

The police said that it had also recovered wine from the crime scene and registered a separate case (FIR1214/08) under Section 4 of the Prohibition (Enforcement of Hadd) Order, 1979, against the suspects. However, one of the suspects had already got bail in this case while the other was discharged under Section 169 (release of accused when evidence deficient) of the criminal procedure code.
Source: Dawn
Date:1/14/2009

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