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Rape case: Punjab to file appeal against acquittal of accused

Malik Asad

ISLAMABAD: The Punjab government informed the Supreme Court on Wednesday that it was going to appeal against the acquittal of the accused in a rape case by the Lahore High Court’s Rawalpindi Bench, following an out of court settlement among the litigants.

This was stated by the province’s prosecution department in its comment on a private petition filed against the acquittal in the Supreme Court.

In their petition human rights activists Tahira Abdullah and Salman Akram Raja requested the court to declare the compromise as illegal and alleged that the prosecutor general Punjab was not fulfilling his job in appropriate manner.

The rape case was registered on the intervention of the Supreme Court after the victim girl tried to end her life as a reaction to the Ratta Amral police reluctance to register the FIR against the three accused who allegedly raped her on March 21.

But the victim’s family reached an out of court compromise with the accused on May 22 and withdrew their names from their earlier complaint and filed another complaint in which girl’s father nominated unknown persons as accused.

The victim girl herself denied the story of the prosecution and recorded her statement in the court that unknown persons committed the rape and claimed that the accused were innocent, the statement added.

Prosecutor general Punjab Sadaqat Ali Khan in his written reply claimed that the prosecution had fought the case in accordance with the law but the victim girl and her father withdrew the case that led to the acquittal of accused.

The reply said the sessions court tried the case on daily basis and on May 22 it framed the charge against the alleged rapists who pleaded not guilty.

It said during the cross examination the father and her daughter denied that they had recorded their statements under any pressure.

After the accused were cleared of charges, they filed applications under section 265 of Cr. PC seeking acquittal and the trial court acquitted them accordingly.

The prosecutor general pointed out that during the court proceedings, Qaiser Mehmood Awan, counsel for the victim family, remained in the court and did not raise any objection to the acquittal of the accused.

He said because of the statement of the victim and her family, they could not prosecute the accused. He, however, stated that the prosecution would file an appeal against the acquittal of the accused in the Lahore High Court (LHC) Rawalpindidespite knowing that it would lose it again.