Karachi: Parties in couple’s murder case seek compromise
KARACHI: The additional district and sessions judge, Central, Tasneem Sultana, on Wednesday adjourned till May 31 the hearing of a case pertaining to the murder of a newly wed couple as both parties jointly submitted a compromise application to the court.
The prosecution said that Hafiz Shaikh Mohammad Azeem and his bride Beenish were found dead in mysterious circumstance the next morning of their wedding night in their North Nazimabad apartment in the Taimuria police limits on Aug 11, 2007. The investigation officer had nominated the deceased groom’s father, Shaikh Abdul Majeed, as the main accused in the case.
Both parities, however, reached an out-of-court settlement and filed a compromise application on Wednesday to the court under Section 345(2) of the Criminal Procedure Code, which says that the offences punishable under Sections of the Pakistan Penal Code specified in the table (which includes Qatl-i-Amd registered under Section 302), with the permission of the court before which any prosecution for such offence is pending, be compounded by the heirs of the victims.
The application said the legal heirs of Shaikh Mohammad Azeem and Beenish had forgiven the accused. The court is likely to announce its verdict on the next date of hearing. On Jan 11, the court had indicted Shaikh Abdul Majeed on charges of killing the couple. The accused pleaded not guilty and opted to contest the case.
The case (FIR 391/07) was registered on the complaint of Danish Zaheer, brother of deceased bride Beenish, at the Taimuria police station under Section 302/34 of the Pakistan Penal Code. The accused was sent to jail on Dec 4, 2007 following the dismissal of his pre-bail application.
Earlier, on Oct 27, 2007 investigation officer (IO) Khalid Khan of the New Karachi police station had submitted an interim charge-sheet to the judicial magistrate-12 (Central), Abdul Zahoor Chandio, in which he nominated Shaikh Abdul Majeed, as the main accused in the case.
Referring to Abdul Majeed’s interview on a TV channel, the IO said in the charge-sheet that Shaikh Majeed had himself admitted his presence up to 5am in the couple’s room, and added that Beenish was also murdered within two to three minutes between 4am and 5am by breaking her jaws and covering her nose and mouth with a pillow.
He stated that the accused had given poison to the couple in sweetmeat and as the woman became intoxicated, he killed her by putting a pillow on her face. On Nov 24, the court of judicial magistrate-12 (Central) had directed the SSP of investigation (Central) to reinvestigate the case and submit a final charge-sheet till Nov 30. Earlier, the court had also issued many notices to the IO to submit a final charge-sheet of the case. However, they failed to comply with the court’s orders.
On Dec 1, the court had finally considered the interim charge-sheet, submitted by the investigation officer on Oct 27, as the final one and sent the case to the court of district and sessions judge, Central, for further trial. Earlier on Spet 20, Abdul Majeed through his counsel had submitted an application to District and Sessions judge (Central) Abdul Maalik under Section 22-A(6) (iii) (iv) of the CrPC.
The application had requested the transfer of the case’s investigation to any other zone, citing his lack of confident in the investigation process. Following his nomination in the case, Abdul Majeed had rejected the police version and expressed his dissatisfaction with the investigation process, and said he had already requested the court for shifting the investigation from zone west to any other zone.