Out-of-court settlement has no legal value in rape case, judge rules – 04 Feb 2023

KARACHI: A sessions court has ruled that an “out-of-court” settlement between the parties in a rape case has no legal value since the offence is non-compoundable.

The court made this ruling while rejecting an out-of-court settlement reached between the father of a 24-year-old rape victim and the accused.

Additional District and Sessions Judge (Central) Zabiha Khattak made these observations while pronouncing the judgement reserved in a five-year-old rape case.

Earlier, the judge had reserved her verdict after recording evidence and final arguments from both sides.

The judge sentenced accused Fareed Ahmed to 10 years in prison after finding him guilty of sexually assaulting a young school teacher within the jurisdiction of the Haidery Market police station in March 2017.

Court rejects compromise between rape victim’s father and accused

“Nowadays, the above type of crime is on peak in the society which should be dealt with iron hands as the same create havoc in the society especially for girls”, noted the judge.

The court, however, ruled that the offence of alleged kidnapping of the victim could not be proved against the accused, as the evidence produced by the prosecution in this regard was doubtful.

State prosecutor Hina Naz argued that the accused had picked up the victim from the North Nazimabad locality on March 21, 2017 and gave her some intoxicant and then took her to some empty house in Khair Mohammad Goth. The accused had subjected her to a sexual assault for around two weeks until the police recovered her, she added.

Compromise rejected

The judge rejected an application supported by a personal affidavit submitted by the victim’s father, who stated that he and his daughter (victim) had no objection if the accused was acquitted.

The judge noted that it was necessary to mention here that at the stage of judgment, the learned defence counsel produced the complainant along with his affidavit in which he mentioned that he and his daughter (victim) had no objection if the accused was acquitted.

She added that although the complainant supported the contents of affidavit before the court, the victim did not appear before the court to support this affidavit. “However, the offence is not compoundable, so the same has no legal value in the eyes of law”, she ruled while rejecting the compromise plea.

The judge also noted that in medico-legal certificate of the victim, Woman Medico-Legal Officer Dr Rohina of the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital had mentioned that “as per statement of the girl, she left her house with her own free will and joined this man”.

Dr Rohina also admitted having written such remarks in the ML certificate before the court.

The judge wondered that “but God knows better that why she mentioned the same sentence in her ML Certificate in column of “Mark of violence”.

However, the court did not order any action against the health officer.

A case was registered under Sections 365-B (kidnapping with an intent to commit zina), 376 (punishment for rape) and 34 (common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code on the complaint of the victim’s father.

Read more