PHC upholds child’s conviction in an abuser murder case

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PESHAWAR: A Peshawar High Court bench has ruled that defending himself against sexual abuse and blackmailing is a mitigating circumstance for a juvenile person to get lesser punishment for killing the abuser.

However, Justice Roohul Amin Khan Chamkani and Justice Nasir Mehfooz ruled that such circumstances didn’t result in the outright acquittal of an accused under Section 100 of the Pakistan Penal Code dealing with the commission of an offense in self-defense.

The ruling was part of a detailed judgment released by the bench on an appeal filed by a juvenile person, who was sentenced by a juvenile court on July 29, 2019, to 10 years imprisonment with a fine of Rs200,000 for killing a man, who sexually abused and blackmailed him.

The bench dismissed his appeal as well as a criminal revision petition filed by the brother of the deceased requesting an increase in the sentence awarded to the appellant. It ruled that keeping in view the juvenility of the appellant and peculiar facts and circumstances of the case, 10 years of rigorous imprisonment awarded to the appellant by the trial court was just and appropriate.

The bench had decided on the appeal and revision petition last month and discussed different aspects of the case in detailed judgment. Under normal circumstances, a murder convict is sentenced to death or life imprisonment.

The FIR of the occurrence was registered at Kalu Khan police station on July 31, 2016, on the complaint of the deceased’s brother, Amjad Ali.

The complainant had claimed that on the day of the occurrence, his brother, Adil Hussain, did not return home and his body was found in a nearby field.

The appellant was arrested on Aug 2, 2016, before he was charged by the complainant for the offense.

Later, the appellant recorded his confessional statement before a judicial magistrate. In his confessional statement, he claimed three years prior to the occurrence the deceased had given him intoxicant in a cold drink and made his objectionable video.

He had said on the basis of the said video the deceased used to blackmail him and commit sodomy upon him.

The appellant had claimed that on the day of occurrence the deceased came to his residence insisting to accompany him so as to sexually abuse him. He claimed that as he was left with no option he fired at the deceased at the place of occurrence and escaped from the scene.

The bench ruled that if the confessional statement of the appellant was considered, one thing was crystal clear that he had committed the offense to save himself from sexual assault. “The deceased was constantly harassing the appellant and on the day of the incident, he was bent upon to commit sodomy on the appellant,” the bench observed.

It added that according to the confessional statement, the deceased was persistently blackmailing the appellant and the appellant had even made a complaint to the deceased’s brother about his bad character.

“From the peculiar facts and circumstances of the case coupled with the confessional statement of the appellant, we are of the considered view that the appellant has committed the murder of the deceased to defend himself from sexual abuse and blackmailing by the deceased.

However, the appellant by selecting a vital part of the body of the deceased i.e. skull has exceeded the right of self-defense,” it observed.

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