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Landmark Verdict: Death Penalty and Heavy Fine for Perpetrator of Heinous Crime in Hattian Bala

Azad KashmirLandmark Verdict: Death Penalty and Heavy Fine for Perpetrator of Heinous Crime in Hattian Bala

Hattian Bala (Azadi Times): The case gained attention when it was reported to local authorities, leading to a gathering of concerned individuals to address the issue.

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Alongside the judicial process, a statement surfaced from the Daman community supporting the decision, bearing multiple signatures, including those of unnamed dignitaries.

Rather than immediate arrest, the police reportedly allowed the accused to remain at large, providing an opportunity for escape. Journalists in the Jehlum Valley brought the case to light, spotlighting alleged perpetrators, including former President of the District Press Club, Ijaz Ahmad Mir, and former Secretary General Mubarak Hussain Awan.

Despite facing pressure and accusations, the Hattian Bala Press Club held its ground, persistently working to secure justice for the victim. After an extensive investigation, Chaudhry Muhammad Shafi was eventually arrested. The case was filed under Section 377A PPC, and the accused was apprehended in September 2023, 25 days after the incident.

In a recent announcement, Session Judge Jehlum Valley, Syed Wasim Ahmed Gilani, declared Chaudhry Muhammad Shafi guilty under Section 377A PPC, imposing the death penalty (pending confirmation by the Honourable High Court).

Additionally, Shafi is required to pay a fine of twenty lakh rupees, with non-payment resulting in the forfeiture of the convict’s immovable property as per the law.

In response to the court’s decision, lawyers Chaudhry Fawad ul Hassan and Advocate Raja Abdul Rauf Khan, along with social activists Faisal Mahmood and Muhammad Bashir Awan, expressed satisfaction. The public, too, has welcomed the verdict, seeing it as a significant stride toward justice.

This ruling signifies a pivotal moment in the quest for justice for survivors of sexual violence, underscoring the commitment of the judiciary and the community to ensuring severe consequences for perpetrators of such crimes.

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