High court grants bail to juvenile in assault case – 12 Aug 2022

PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court has granted bail to a juvenile suspect charged with sexually assaulting a six-yearold boy in Shangla district two months ago.

Justice Mohammad Naeem Anwar of a single-member bench accepted the suspect`s petition on the condition of furnishing two surety bonds of Rs200,000 each.

The bench observed that according to a certificate issued by the National Database and Registration Authority, the petitioner was born on April 2, 2011, and his age was 11 years and two months when he allegedly committed the crime.Itobserved that the offence attracted the prohibitory clause of Section 497 of the Code of Criminal Procedure but the provisions of the Juvenile Justice System Act, 2018, provided concession to the juvenile accused, especially those under 16 years of age.

It observed that since the petitioner was under 16, he was entitled to the concession of bail.

The court observed that the matter had been patched up by the relevant parties at the intervention of local elders and that af fidavits by them along with their joint statement recorded by a lower court were also produced.

It added that the father of the assault victim, who was present in the courtroom, hadno objection to the release of the petitioner on bail.

The court observed that although the offence was not compoundable, a compromise was prima facie in the best interest of both parties.

The FIR against the petitioner was registered at the Bisham police stationin Shangla district on June 18, 2022, under Section 377 of the Pakistan Penal Code and Section 52 of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Child Protection and Welfare Act.

The complainant in the case was the assault victim`s grandfather, who alleged that his grandson had stepped out of his house to play with friends but the suspect took him to nearby fields and sexuallyassaulted him.

The petitioner`s counsel contended that his client had been suf fering from multiple diseases inside the prison and recently underwent appendix surgery.

He contended that the matter had already been patched up between the party and the complainant and f ather of the assault victim had given af fidavits that they had no objection if the petitioner was freed on bail.

The lawyer said Form B of the petitioner clearly proved that he was a juvenile and under the Juvenile Justice System Act he was entitled to the concession of bail. He argued that at the tender age, the petitioner was not capable of committing that heinous offence.

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