By Ishaq Tanoli
KARACHI: A sessions court on Monday sentenced a young man to 14 years in prison for raping a minor girl.
The court found Mohammad Asif guilty of sexually assaulting an 11-year-old girl within the remit of the Awami Colony police station in Feb 2009.
Additional District and Sessions Judge (east) Chaudhry Waseem Iqbal pronounced his verdict after recording evidence and final arguments from both sides.
The court also imposed a fine of Rs50,000 and in case of default the convict would have to undergo an additional six-months imprisonment.
The court in its verdict observed that the victim – not only in her statement recorded by a judicial magistrate under Section 164 of the criminal procedure code but also before the trial court – had testified against the accused and her testimony was fully supported by other prosecution witnesses.
It added that the evidence of the prosecution witnesses had remained consistent and fully corroborated with medical evidence.
“Merely having found no mark of violence on the body of victim could not be based to from opinion as to commission of rape with consent since the medical evidence was always be treated as in the nature of corroboration and the authenticity of the natural witnesses cannot be overruled particularity in the attending circumstance of the case, where the FIR was lodged without any inordinate delay,” reads the judgment.
Citing the contention of the accused that the prosecution witnesses were related to each other and there was no evidence available on record to substantiate the case against him, the court observed that the contention of the accused had no force as the solitary statement of the victim, which was fully supported by other witnesses, would be sufficient and it inspired confidence.
In his statement recorded under Section 342 of the CrPC, the accused had failed to give any plausible reason as why the witnesses had deposed against him while he also produced two witnesses in his defence, but they remained unsuccessful in giving any solid evidence in order to prove the innocence of the accused, it added.
The prosecution was successful in bringing the guilt of the accused at home beyond a shadow of a doubt, but the accused was of young age and first offender, thus the court took a lenient view and awarded him lesser punishment, the verdict concluded.
According to the prosecution, the accused was a neighbour of the victim girl and on Feb 26, 2009 he came to her house and sexually assaulted her. The police managed to arrest the accused the following day.
A case (FIR 83/2009) was registered against the accused under Section 376 (punishment for rape) of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) on a complaint of the victim`s sister.
The court extended the benefit of Section 382-B (period of detention to be considered while awarding sentence of imprisonment) of the CrPC to the convict and remanded him back to prison along with the conviction warrant to serve out the remainder of his sentence.