Pakistan session court sentences man to 80 lashes in a rare decision

Karachi, April 8 (IANS) In a rate punishment sentenced to a man falsely accusing his ex-wife of adultery and refusing to accept the paternity of his child; the Pakistan session court in Karachi, has sentenced the man to 80 lashes, a very rare punishment.

Additional District and Sessions Judge Malir Shehnaz Bohyo sentenced the accused Fareed Qadir to at least 80 lashes. The controversial decision was taken under Section 7(1) of the Offence of Qazf (Enforcement of Hadd) Ordinance, 1979, which reads “Whoever commits qazf liable to had shall be punished with whipping numbering eighty stripes.”

The judge wrote in the verdict that: “It is crystal clear that the accused is a liar and had fabricated an allegation of Qazf upon the complainant regarding illegitimacy of her daughter. Thus, he is convicted and sentenced to 80 stripes each under Section 7(1) of the Qazf Ordinance, 1979.”

The judge’s ruling also maintained that: “As the accused is sentenced to whipping only, he shall remain on bail, provided that he agrees to appear at the time and place designated by this court for the execution of the punishment of whipping, following the confirmation of the conviction and sentence by the court of appeal, and submits a bail bond in the sum of Rs.100,000.”

The court also ruled that after the conviction, evidence provided by Fareed Qadir would not be admissible in any court of law.

As per details of the case, Fareed Qadir’s (convict) ex-wife had filed a complaint in court, stating that she got married in February 2015 and lived with Fareed for at least one month. In December 2015, Fareed’s wife gave birth to a baby girl.

“My husband (Fareed) failed to provide maintenance or even take me and our newly born daughter back to his house. I filed a case in the family court and got a decree in my favour. The court directed Fareed to provide for the maintenance of his daughter and me (ex-wife of Fareed),” said Fareed’s ex-wife.

“But my husband submitted two applications in court during the proceedings, seeking a DNA test for the baby girl and disowning his daughter. These applications were later and subsequently withdrawn by Fareed,” she added.

On the other hand, the accused Fareed denied allegations levelled by his ex-wife, stating that his wife had only spent six hours with him.

“Me and my wife stayed together only for six hours. Then she left home and never returned,” he said.

While the case may or could have been handled differently under the law of the land in Pakistan; sentencing to 80 lashes is a punishment which has not yet been witnessed since the Zia ul Haq era of the 70s till late 80s.

“I have not witnessed any convictions of flogging under Section 7 of the Qafz Ordinance during my last 14 years of service as a lawyer,” said prosecutor Saira Bano.

“This conviction of flogging may be the first instance of its kind as corporal punishment in decades,” she added.



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