Peshawar: Alleged child seller seeks bail to nurture own child
PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court on Friday directed an additional advocate general to verify whether a female doctor, arrested on charges of selling newborn babies at a private healthcare facility, was having a suckling baby with her in the prison.
A single-bench comprising Justice Mazhar Alam Miankhel adjourned hearing of a bail petition filed by the suspect, Dr Fatima, directing the additional advocate general, Zahid Yousaf, to verify her claim regarding having a nine-month-old infant daughter at the Peshawar Central Prison.
The petitioner`s counsel earlier pointed out that the lady doctor had an infant daughter with her at the prison and was thus entitled to be set free on bail.
The petitioner was earlier denied bail by the concerned additional district and sessions judge and the judicial magistrate. The petitioner was arrested by the local police on June 2 for selling a five-month-old baby boy for Rs360,000.
The petitioner`s counsel Shah Faisal Utmankhel argued that the petitioner had not committed any offence and was falsely implicated in the case. He argued that initially the police had registered the case under section 371-A (selling for purpose of prostitution) and 371-B (buying for purpose of prostitution) of Pakistan Penal Code, which were irrelevant clauses.
Later, he argued, on the advice of the district prosecution the police incorporated section 372 and 373 PPC, which had already been repealed in 1979 through the Offence of Zina (Enforcement of Hudood) Ordinance, 1979.
The prosecution claimed that the petitioner was caught red-handed while negotiating the deal. It was stated that the police had conducted a sting operation in which a female constable visited the lady doctor pretending to be a customer wanting to adopt a child.
It was added that the deal was finalised for Rs360,000 and on the day of handing over the baby the police raided the health facility, arrested the accused and recovered the infant. The prosecution has also alleged that the accused was dealing with cases of illegitimate deliveries and the couples involved in such cases used to leave behind their infants, who were later sold for Rs150,000 to Rs360,000.