Lahore: Rape accused granted bail
LAHORE: Justice Khurshid Anwar Bhinder of the Lahore High Court on Friday granted bail to Masood Hussain Shah, accused of abducting and raping a girl. According to the prosecution, Masood allegedly kidnapped the girl on December 12, 2007 and raped her. A case had been registered against him at Qadirabad police station in Mandi Bahauddin district.
The accused pleaded not guilty. He said that the girl had given a statement before a magistrate on January 17, 2008, saying that she had married Shah of her own free will, and that she had not been raped. The victim’s counsel, while opposing the bail application, submitted that the trial of the case had reached the evidence stage and the court could issue directions for the expeditious hearing of the matter.
The judge observed that the girl had recorded contradictory statements. In her statement on January 17, 2008, she said that she was married to Shah and then on January 28, 2008, she accused him of raping her. The judge said that when the court had summoned her to explain the contradiction, she gave credence to her first statement.
The judge held, “The court again confronted her with a question as to whether the petitioner had raped her forcibly at her residence prior to her abduction and her reply was in the affirmative.”
The judge held that it was not possible for the girl to conceal the matter from her parents if she was being subjected to rape. The judge remarked that in the presence of two contradictory statements, no reliance could be placed on the credibility of the girl.
The judge said the argument that Shah could not be granted bail because the trial was under process could also not be taken into account. “When it appears to the court as per merits of the case that the petitioner is not involved in the commission of an offence, his right of liberty cannot be jeopardised.”