The Lahore High Court on Monday granted pre-arrest bail to a man accused of raping a 10-year-old girl, after the victim changed her testimony and told the court that the actual rapist was her father.
The father was the complainant in the rape FIR, in which he had also accused the mother of consenting to her daughter’s rape. Justice Chaudhry Iftikhar Hussain took no action against the father or the mother. The girl came to the courtroom with her mother and left with her.
According to the FIR lodged at Wahdat Colony police station on August 22, *Muhammad Aisam raped 10-year-old *Mariam with the consent of her mother. Mariam had backed up the father’s version in testimony at an earlier bail hearing.
But appearing before the court on Monday, the girl said that her father had raped her several times and threatened her and bribed her not to tell anyone. She said that Aisam had not raped her.
In the FIR, the father had alleged that his daughter had told him on August 16 that while he was away from home, her mother had invited two boys – Aisam and Mamoon – to their house. She was quoted as saying that the latter had slept with the mother while the former had raped her. According to the investigation record, Mariam was given a medical examination and rape was confirmed.
Aisam in his bail application submitted that he was innocent and the girl’s father was trying to blackmail him.
On December 10, Additional Sessions Judge Muhammad Rafiq had dismissed Aisam’s plea for bail after Mariam testified that the charges were true. “The medical report supports the version of the complainant,” reads Rafiq’s order in the case. “The complainant is of 9-10 years. Her statement at this stage cannot be discarded. No [malice] is attributed to the complainant. The bail application is dismissed.”
*Names have been changed to protect the victim’s identity.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 5th, 2011.