Throwing acid on women a crime against society: SC

Court returns Pakistan Public Works Department reference to NAB

Picture source - supremecourt.gov.pk

The Supreme Court on Monday directed that the appeal against the death sentence of the accused for killing his wife by throwing acid be set before a three-judge bench, observing that throwing acid on women was a crime against society. A two-member SC bench comprising Justice Ijaz Ul Ahsan and Justice Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi observed while hearing the appeal. During the course of proceedings, the counsel for the accused argued that the presence of witnesses on the crime scene was not proved. On which Justice Ijaz asked if the witnesses were not present on the spot, then did the women throw acid on themselves? He said that the wife of the accused was killed while three other women got burns from acid. Justice Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi said throwing acid on women was a crime against society. The lawyer pointed out the flaws in the investigation and said that the entire investigation by the police was full of flaws. Upon this, Justice Mazahar said there were normal mistakes in the investigation of every case. If the investigation did not spoil the facts of the case, there was not a problem, he added. Additional prosecutor general of Punjab pointed out that the division bench of Lahore High Court had upheld the decision of death penalty, only a three-member bench was authorized to hear the appeal against the decision of the division bench. Subsequently, the court referred the case to the chief justice to fix the case before a three-member bench. Meanwhile, an accountability court on Monday returned Pakistan Public Works Department (Pak PWD) contracts reference to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB). The court held that the matter did not fall under its jurisdiction, as per NAB amended law, and ordered the NAB chairman to place the matter before the court concerned without any delay. The court also granted protective bail to the accused and directed for submitting surety bonds of Rs200,000 each. Accountability Court Judge Zubair Shahzad Kiyani passed the orders while deciding applications of the accused. The accused, through their applications, submitted that the accountability court was not empowered to hear any reference involving an amount below Rs500 million, as per the NAB’s amended law. They submitted that the reference amount was below Rs500 million, and it did not come under the jurisdiction of the court. The NAB had filed reference against eight Pak PWD officials — including SDO Khursheed Ahmed, XEN Humera Khurram, and others.

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