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Sindh High Court Overturns Life Imprisonment in Rape Case

The Sindh High Court (SHC) has overturned the life sentences of two men accused of the murder and rape of a five-year-old girl on October 31, 2010, in Gulistan-e-Jauhar.

The defendants rejected the allegations, stating that they had been abused by authorities while detained. An additional prosecutor general challenged their appeals and requested that they be overturned by the High Court.

Throughout the trial, the evidence was evaluated by a single bench led by Judge Omar Sial. The court determined that vaginal swabs taken by the physician on 3 November 2010, were not forwarded for processing until 50 days later, as they stayed in the police station. Furthermore, the high court noticed that the handkerchief exhibited as evidence was a different color from the one claimed to have been collected by the police.

The court also stated that two witnesses could not be trusted since their testimony was contradictory.

The complainant claimed that statements were made from the nearby mosque about his missing child, but despite having spotted her with the defendants a short time before, none of the eyewitnesses knew where she was. Instead, they went to Larkana, Sindh, and returned the next day to notify the complainant.

The high court also criticized the way the crimes of rape and murder were verified when the corpse was delivered to the doctor. The body was in an advanced condition of decomposition, yet there were no obvious injuries on it, as per the doctor. She was unable to determine the cause of death or if the victim had been raped before the death.

The SHC decided that if doubt existed in the prosecution’s case due to a lack of definitive evidence and discrepancies in witness statements, the accused should be given the benefit of the doubt. As a result, the high court reversed the lower court’s decision and ruled the appellants should be released if they were not wanted in other cases.

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