Karachi: 3 get death for kidnap, murder
KARACHI: An anti–terrorism court on Saturday handed down death sentence on two counts to three accused in a case pertaining to the kidnapping and murder of a 12–year–old boy. Mohammad Qasim, Farhan Khan and Rahil were facing the charges of kidnapping Owais Ali, 12, on Sept 13, 2006 from the limits of Landhi police station for ransom and later killing him. The judge, Anand Ram Hotwawni of ATC–III, who conducted the trial, pronounced the verdict after recording final arguments from both sides. The court also ordered confiscation the property of the convicts to the extent of Rs100,000 each. The court, in its verdict, said that the prosecution had successfully proved its case against all the accused beyond any shadow of doubt by producing sufficient evidence.
It further said that the kidnapping of the boy was not denied from any quarter, the accused did not dispute the fact of kidnapping or that any of them had suggested any question to the witnesses that the boy was not kidnapped for ransom, and no question was raised whether the dead body thrown by the accused in a nullah was of the victim Owais, while the medical reports confirmed that the body was of a young boy aged around 13.
“The complainant has deposed all actual facts about the kidnapping of his son and I do not find any reason why he shall implicate any of the accused falsely and none of the accused in their statements stated that they have been falsely implicated,” it added, saying that the prosecution examined all the 19 witnesses and the evidence of each one of them was connected with the other.
The judge observed that the circumstantial evidence was so strong that he did not find any mitigating circumstances which may lead him to give lesser punishment to the accused. He convicted the accused persons under Section 7 (e) of the Anti-terrorism Act read with Section 365–A of the Pakistan Penal Code for kidnapping Owais Ali and under Section 302/34 of the PPC for killing him.
According to the prosecution, the mother of an accused, Qasim, was the maidservant at the complainant`s house and the accused use to visit the house frequently and knew that the victim`s father was financially sound, and on Sept 13, 2006, he took the boy away and detained him in a house in collaboration with his associates and demanded a ransom of Rs50 million.
Later, they reportedly reduced the amount to Rs0.2 million and asked the complainant to deliver the ransom money at a specified place in Korangi. However, the accused did not come to collect the ransom money. Later, they reportedly collected the amount but did not release the boy.
The father of the victim, Sadaquat Ali, had informed the CPLC and AVCC about the crime and lodged a case.
The police had arrested an accused, Farhan, with the help of mobile phone data on Nov 7 and later apprehended the other accused on information given by the arrested accused.
The body of the kidnapped boy was rescued around 20 days after the incident from a nullah near Korangi Crossing. The investigators said that the accused disclosed during the interrogation that they had killed the boy on the same day.
In the final arguments, special public prosecutor Mobashir Mirza said that the prosecution had proved its case against all the accused persons beyond any shadow of doubt by providing ample evidence before the court.
He contented that a witness, Ghaniul Haq, had identified the accused during an identification parade held in the court of a judicial magistrate while another witness, Muslim Shah, who had seen the accused while throwing the body of the deceased in a nullah near Korangi Crossing, also confirmed in his statements recorded under Section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code their involvement; he also identified the accused before the trial court.
He concluded that the accused persons have committed the offence with their common intention, which was against society and sought capital punishment for the accused.
The defence counsel argued that the FIR was lodged after long delay and the mobile numbers given in the FIR were not verified and the persons having those SIMs were not cited as accused.
They further argued that the dead body was recovered after 22 days, which was beyond identification, while the medical report did not give any mark of identification, therefore it was doubtful.
A case (221/06) against the accused was registered under Section 365–A and 302/34 of the PPC on the complaint of the deceased`s father at Landhi police station. The accused, which were already in custody, were remanded back to judicial custody to serve the sentence. The court declared Akbar son of Akram absconder in the case.