Usman Mirza was sentenced to life in jail by an Islamabad sessions court on Friday for detaining a couple at gunpoint, forcing them to strip, beating them up, and filming the entire event. Hafiz Ataur Rehman, Adaras Qayyum Butt, Mohib Bangash, and Farhan Shaheen, Mirza’s accomplices and co-accused, have all been sentenced to life in prison, while Umar Bilal and Rehan Hassan Mughal have been acquitted. Session Extensions The verdict was pronounced by Judge Ata Rabbani.
Usman and his accomplices were sentenced to life in jail under Section 354-A of the Pakistan Penal Code (attack or use of criminal force on a lady and stripping her of her garments), according to the court’s order, which is available to A fine of Rs200,000 has been imposed on each of them by the court. If they do not pay, they will be sentenced to six months of simple jail.
The defendants were additionally given seven years in jail for criminal intimidation (Section 506) and three years for insulting a woman’s modesty (Section 509(i)). The sentences would run concurrently with the advantage of Section 382(B) of the Criminal Procedure Code (time of detention to be considered when awarding sentence of imprisonment) provided to the offenders.
The case surfaced when a video of four people harassing the couple at gunpoint went viral on social media in July 2021. Initially, an FIR was registered under section 341 (punishment for wrongful restraint), 354A (assault or use of criminal force against woman and stripping her of her clothes), 506 (ii) (punishment for criminal intimidation) and 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) of Pakistan Penal Code.
Later, sections pertaining to rape, sexual abuse, extortion, and wrongful confinement were also added to the FIR. State takes up the case The E-11 torture case, which lasted seven months, made headlines once again in January 2022 when the woman complainant retracted her statement against the accused and told a trial court that she did not want to pursue the case. She said she never filed the complaint with the police, adding the investigation officer had taken her thumb impressions on blank papers. She also refused to identify the accused and said she saw them for the first time in the police station.
Immediately afterwards, Parliamentary Secretary for Law Maleeka Bokhari said that the state would take up the case as it had “irrefutable video and forensic evidence on record”. “The video of Usman Mirza (primary accused) has been verified by the Pakistan Science Foundation, and we have photogrammetry (pertaining to the technique for making measurements through photographs) evidence,” she had said in a statement.
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