PHC grants bail to suspect in honour killing case – 15 Aug 2022

PESHAWAR: Peshawar High Court has granted bail to a suspect charged in honour-related murder of his sister, who had contracted marriage with her free will over two months ago in Swat district.

A single-member bench consisting of Justice Mohammad Ijaz Khan accepted plea of the suspect, Shaukat Ali, as legal heirs of the deceased woman, Ms Mehnaz, entered into compromise with him. The bench directed the petitioner to submit two sureties of Rs300,000 each.

The husband of the deceased, Momin Khan, appeared before the bench and stated that in the larger interest of the family they had affected a compromise with the suspect, Shaukat Ali.

Similarly, other legal heirs including mother and two brothers of the deceased had also submitted their affidavits before the court, stating that they had patchedup the matter and were no more interested toprosecute the suspect.

The FIR of the occurrence was registered at Khursheed Shaheed police station in Swat on June 29, 2022, under section 302 (intentional murder) and section 311 (mischief on earth) of the Pakistan Penal Code.

The complainant in the FIR was SHO Shujaat Ali Khan, who stated that he had received information that dead body of Meghnaz had been lying in Khwazakhela hospital.

On inquiry, he stated, he was informed that about a month prior to the occurrence, she had left her residence and for the said elopement one Momin Khan was charged.

He stated that on the day of occurrence, her brother Shaukat Ali brought her from Mardan and killed her on pretext of honour.

Later on, the mother and brothers of the deceased also charged Shaukat Ali for the commission of the offence in their statements, recorded with a local magistrate under section 164 of the Code of Criminal Proce dure.

The petitioner`s counsel, Ali Namdar,referred to an earlier judgment of the high court, stating that in almost identical facts and circumstances the compromise was considered as a sole ground for the grant of bail.

He also contended that his client was falsely implicated in the case as there was no eyewitness to the occurrence to depose against him.

He argued that the story of the prosecution was based on presumption and could not be believed. He added that the petitioner was entitled to the concession of bail.

Earlier, an additional district and sessions judge in Swat had rejected bail plea of the suspect, observing that the pistol used in the offence was recovered on pinpointing of the suspect.

The court had also observed that the suspect had confessed to his crime before a judicial magistrate and if in such like cases lenient view was taken, it would create chaos in the society.

Despite compromise, the additional sessions judge had ruled that courts still had the discretion to reject plea of compromise in appropriate cases like the present one as such offences were non-bailable and not compoundable.

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