KARACHI, February 23 ,2005: District and sessions judge-East Zafar Ahmed Khan Sherwani granted bail to a 17-year-old boy, Yasin Bawani, who was booked and arrested last month for molesting and killing his 16-year-old maid.
Yasin, son of Mohammad Ali Bawani, represented by Shahadat Awan, was granted bail in the sum of Rs500,000 as the case required further inquiry.
Asia, who had been working at the house of Bawanis for the past one year, was brought to Civil Hospital with fatal burns on Jan 8 where she died after a few days. In her initial statement, she stated that she attempted to commit suicide after she was molested by the driver of her employer.
However, hours after she retracted from her earlier statement, and alleged that Yasin Bawani allegedly sent three unknown men who set her on fire. She also alleged that the defendant had attempted to molest her and he threatened her of dire consequences when she offered resistance.
In her initial statement, the young maid stated that she had been living at the bungalow of Mohammad Ali Bawani for the past one year as a maid servant and her parents lived in Punjab. She said Amanat Ali, the driver of Mr Bawani, had also been living in the bungalow.
The young girl stated that at 11pm on Jan 8, Amanat was singing songs loudly and they exchanged hot words when she asked her not sing so loudly. She said Amanat tried to molest her, but he became scared when she raised a hue and cry.
The maid said her employer couple snubbed her when she reported the matter to them. She said she went into the bathroom, sprayed her with kerosene and set herself on fire out of fear of being disgraced in society. She held Amanat responsible for his injuries. However, later she stated that prior to the incident accused Yasin attempted to molest her. She said she was in the lounge and Yasin forcibly took her to his room. She said she slapped Yasin and ran out of his room. She said she warned him that she would report the matter to his parents.
She said around 11pm when she was passing in front of driver Amanat’s room, three masked men grabbed her. She said one of them sprinkled kerosene and gagged her mouth and they burnt her. She said they fled as she cried, and Amanat came out and threw water on her.
Defence counsel Shahadat Awan contended that the FIR had been lodged after an inordinate delay of over 21 hours on the instructions of health minister and media reports.
He submitted that the alleged victim made contradictory, improbable and dishonestly improved statements. He said the complainant girl had owned her first statement, which implicated herself and did not mention the name of the defendant.
About the allegation of Zina, Shahdat Awan stated that the chemical examiner’s report is in the negative and it had adversely affected the veracity of the complainant. He contended that the accused was a juvenile as defined under Section 2 (b) of the Juvenile Justice System Ordinance. He was born on Jan 6, 1988, therefore, his case was to be dealt under the provisions of the JJSO.
“The accused is not an adult as defined under Section 2 (a) of Zina Ordinance. Therefore, according to Section 7 of the Zina Ordinance, he cannot be punished more that five years, hence his case does not fall within the propitiatory clause (1) of Section 497 of the CrPC”, the defence counsel argued.
He submitted that the allegation against three unknown attackers was highly improbable and false as none of the witnesses present in the house noticed any intruders. “But on the contrary, Amanat and uncle of the victim stated that they took out the complainant after breaking the door”, he stated.