Supreme Court acquits three in 2009 murder case

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Wednesday overturned the life imprisonment sentence of two men and a woman over a murder committed some eight years ago, clearing them of all charges.

The court dismissed all sentences handed to the primary suspect Tahir Imran and two others, Rubina Kausar and Kamran, who had been convicted of killing a man named Akhtar Javaid, in Rawalpindi’s R.A. Bazaar on April 21, 2009.

A trial court had sentenced Imran, Kausar and Kamran, the deceased’s brother-in-law, wife and brother respectively, to death, after finding them guilty of murdering Javaid over a family dispute. A high court had later turned their sentence into life imprisonment.

“The prosecution failed to prove its case,” a three-judge bench, headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, said in its judgement on the acquittal plea filed by Imran against the conviction. The court ordered that the accused be released.

“Unfortunately in Punjab, if the charges are proven, the death sentence is handed down and if the charges are not proven, life imprisonment is announced by the courts,” Justice Khosa regretted in his remarks.

Commenting on the prosecution of the case, Justice Khosa said that it has become a tradition in Punjab to accuse the slain victim’s wife of his murder if the suspected murderer is unknown.

The wife of the victim is usually shown to be involved in the murder case in order to usurp the couple’s property, the judge regretted. He said that the Pakistani society should understand by now that judgments are given in the justice system on the basis of testimonies.

“Whenever false witnesses will be presented in the court, the real culprits will continue to be acquitted,” Justice Khosa remarked. “The justice system cannot be established without truth.”

Justice Khosa said that the time had come for handing life imprisonments to those who level false allegations against others.

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