In a shocking decision, a two-member bench of the Lahore High Court (LHC) has reversed the decision to give the death sentence to the rapist of an 11-month-old girl.
The two-member bench headed by Justice Alia Neelum of Lahore High Court commuted the death sentence of the rapist to life imprisonment. However, it maintained the trial court’s verdict, which had imposed a fine of Rs. 300,000 on the criminal.
Despite acknowledging the evidence provided by the prosecution, LHC observed that it would be too harsh to award a death sentence to the rapist of an 11-month-old girl.
The high court added that the punishment could be less harsh due to the negative DNA report and the offender’s age at the time of the crime. “We believe that there are mitigating circumstances in this case,” it said.
The rapist was given the benefit of the doubt and his sentence was commuted to life imprisonment. The criminal, Muhammad Rafiq, was taken into custody by Kasur police after he sexually assaulted an 11-month-old in 2019.
It is worth mentioning that Kasur has gained notoriety for frequently reporting cases of sexual assault. Last year, it was ranked at the top among the districts where child sexual abuse cases were reported.