A model court on Monday awarded life imprisonment to a former police officer in a 12-year-old case pertaining to the murder of a citizen during an armed robbery in the Gulshan-e-Iqbal area.
Waseem Faraz was found guilty of shooting to death Rao Muhammad Akram and wounding his brother Rao Ashraf for putting up resistance to the robbery bid in Gulshan-e-Iqbal’s Block No.2 on November 12, 2010.
Additional District and Sessions Judge Haleem Ahmed of the Model Criminal Trial Court (East) pronounced his verdict after recording evidence and final arguments from both sides. He ruled that the prosecution successfully proved its charges against the accused beyond any shadow of doubt.
The judge handed down life imprisonment to the convict for the murder of the citizen under Section 302 of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) and ten-year-imprisonment for committing the offence of robbery with an attempt to cause death or grievous hurt under Section 397 of the PPC. The convict was told to pay Rs600,000 as compensation to the legal heirs of the victim.
Additionally, the judge awarded him seven-year imprisonment along with a Rs100,000 fine for firing shots at the deceased’s brother, who is the complainant of the case. In case of failure to pay the fine, he will have to undergo imprisonment of six more months.
Explaining why he didn’t award the capital punishment to the accused for the murder, the judge noted that the prosecution couldn’t prove any recovery; besides, there were contradictions and anomalies in the evidence of its witnesses, but such a fact was not sufficient to cast any doubt on the veracity of the whole incident.
State prosecutor Muhammad Ashraf Bhatti stated that Waseem, armed with a deadly weapon, looted Rs25,000 and mobile phones from complainant Ashraf, his brother Imran and employee Aftab at his shop in Gulshan-e-Iqbal as his accomplice Sohail Khan stayed outside, adding that he then proceeded to the adjacent shop of the complainant’s another brother, Akram, who put up resistance and tried to overpower the accused.
The complainant, on hearing the hue and cry, rushed to the brother’s shop, and attempted to grab the accused, who subsequently opened fire on them, killing his brother and wounding him. In the meantime, he managed to grab the pistol from the accused and fired shots at him and his accomplice, who also sustained injuries. Sohail succumbed to his injuries three days later.
Bhatti argued that the prosecution fully established its case against the accused through ocular, medical and circumstantial evidence and pleaded with the judge to punish him for the offence.
On the other hand, defence lawyer Mehmood Akhtar Qureshi contended that the investigation officer didn’t find any bloodstains at the place of incident nor did the prosecution produce any independent witness as all witnesses were relatives of the deceased or were his employees.
The judge further observed that the accused was arrested at the place of the incident and his identity was not disputed, adding that he was a police officer so it could be safely believed that he knew very well as to how to pull the trigger of the firearm.
An FIR was registered under sections 302 (premeditated murder), 397 (robbery or dacoity, with attempt to cause death or grievous hurt), 324 (attempt to murder), and 34 (common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) at the Gulshan-e-Iqbal police station.