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Peshawar High Court (PHC) acquits convict in assault case on basis of compromise

PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court Mingora bench has set aside sentence of life imprisonment awarded to a man for assaulting a deaf and vocally impaired woman as he has married the victim on the basis of a compromise.

A two-member bench consisting of Justice Mohammad Naeem Anwar and Justice Mohammad Ijaz Khan accepted an appeal filed by the convict, Dawlat Khan, a resident of Buner district, pronouncing that the appellant was acquitted of the charge on the basis of compromise.

An additional district and sessions judge/gender base violence court, Qaiser Khan Afridi, in Buner had convicted the appellant on May 17, 2022, and sentenced him to life imprisonment and fiend him Rs100,000 in default of which he had to undergo six months more imprisonment.

The occurrence had taken place in the jurisdiction of Daggar police station and an FIR was registered there under section 376 (rape) of the Pakistan Penal Code on August 24, 2020, on complaint of the victim’s mother.

The man solemnises nikah with victim and pays compensation

The complainant had told the police that her unmarried daughter, aged around 30, was deaf and vocally impaired by birth. She stated that on August 18, 2020, her daughter fell ill and she took her to a hospital in Daggar for treatment and after her examination the doctor told her that she was pregnant of six or seven months.

She said that she got information from her daughter through her gestures that six/seven months ago, when she was sleeping in a cattle shed, her neighbour Daulat Khan came there and fastened her hands with her scarf and repeatedly assaulted her.

About delay in registration of the FIR, the complainant stated that she was unaware of the law and a local jirga was involved in resolving the matter, but had failed.

Subsequently, the victim had given birth to a male child on November 9, 2020, and the DNA tests of the appellant and the baby proved that he was the child’s biological father.

The statements of the victim before the magistrate and the trial court were recorded with the help of an expert/interpreter named Ikramul Haq. In both her statements, she charged the appellant for the commission of the offence.

The father of the appellant and the victim along with their lawyers appeared before the bench and produced a compromise deed of October 24, 2022.

The appellant’s father stated that not only nikah of the victim was solemnised with the appellant rather the victim and complainant had also been compensated.

According to terms of the compromise deed, the jirga members fixed dower of the victim as two tolas gold besides Rs500,000 as compensation to her and the complainant and an amount of Rs50,000 for dowry articles of the victim.

The cash amount along with a tola of gold (prompt dower) was in custody of an elder of the area named Taj Mohammad, who also appeared before the court and admitted it.

“Thus without going into the controversy regarding the fact that the offence is non-compoundable, etc as the parties entered into a compromise when marriage of victim has been solemnised with the appellant, besides compromise appears to be in the larger interest of the parties, on acceptance of the compromise the appeal stands allowed,” the bench ruled.

Source: Dawn