Three accused of gang raping woman at Quaid’s Mausoleum acquitted
KARACHI: Three men accused of gang raping a young woman inside the premises Quaid’s Mausoleum were acquitted by sessions court in Karachi on Tuesday.
The then assistant manager security of the mausoleum, an accountant and a personal assistant to the resident engineer of the Quaid-i-Azam Mazar Management Board were accused of sexually assaulting a young woman in March 2008 in the premises of the mausoleum.
In May this year, the Sindh High Court had set aside the acquittal of the three men and remanded the case back to a trial court. The court was directed to conduct a fresh trial within three months.
On Tuesday, Additional District and Sessions Judge (East) Ghulam Mustafa Leghari pronounced the verdict he had reserved after seeing the evidence and hearing final arguments.
Advocate Amna Usman representing the victim argued that the trial court had acquitted the accused in April 2013 by deciding the case on the basis of the principle of law — the Hudood Ordinance — instead of the Pakistan Penal Code.
She further argued that the DNA matching had clearly shown that the three accused were involved in the gang-rape of the victim.
For the defence, Arshad Lodhi contended that around 10 witnesses were examined by the court but none of them had identified or implicated the accused.
He further contended that neither the victim had identified the accused before the police nor had she recognised them before the court.
The counsel argued that the DNA samples, which were allegedly obtained from the clothes of the victim, did not match with those of the accused.
Lodhi added that even the clothes of the victim were not produced before the court as evidence, adding that the testimonies of the witnesses, including the victim’s, the forensic and chemical analysis reports had made the prosecution’s case doubtful.
The prosecution claimed that the 18-year-old girl was subjected to a sexual assault after being kidnapped on the premises of the Mazar by around five men on the night of March 15, 2008 and was found in an unstable condition outside the mausoleum on March 17, 2008.
The victim from Lodhran, accompanied by her husband and other relatives, came to Karachi on March 15, 2008 and paid a visit to the Quaid’s mausoleum at night.
The couple went inside earlier than the rest of the family members. However, the moment her husband left to bring in the remaining family members, who were waiting outside in a bus, a power breakdown occurred and the victim was allegedly kidnapped by the accused, taken to a room where she was forced to drink wine and sexually assaulted, alleged the prosecution.
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