KARACHI: The Supreme Court (SC) rejected the pre-arrest bail plea filed by accused Saleem in the rape case of a minor Hindu girl on Wednesday. A two-member bench comprising Justice Maqbool Baqar and Justice Sajjad Ali Shah heard the case at SC's Karachi registry. The court said that the accused would have to face trial.
The lawyer for the prime accused in the case argued that Saleem's DNA did not match the samples collected from the victim.
The court expressed its annoyance over the DNA test having been conducted 22 days after the incident. "How could the DNA match after 22 days? It is a fake and fabricated DNA report," remarked the court.
The prosecutor maintained that the 12-year-old victim was picking chillies in the fields in Umarkot on February 14, 2019, when the three accused, Saleem, Chelo and Hari Chand attacked her. Saleem raped the minor girl in the presence of the other accused. The prosecutor argued that Saleem did not deserve any leniency and his bail plea should be rejected.
The court rejected the pre-arrest bail plea filed by Saleem. The prime accuse escaped from the court when his plea was rejected.
The SC directed all parties involved in the issue of unpaid dues worth Rs580 million owed by the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation to K-Electric to come up a feasible solution for the problem by tomorrow (Friday, April 12). The plea pertaining to unpaid dues was heard by the same bench on Wednesday at SC's Karachi registry.
KE officials, Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar and others appeared before the court.
Akhtar said that the KMC was facing a severe shortage of funds. He said that the KMC had unpaid dues to KE and also had KE poles and PMTs in its jurisdiction. "We aren't refusing to pay the bills but we don't have enough funds."
The court remarked that both the Sindh government and KMC were complaining about the lack of funds. "Sindh does not lack funds to the extent it is being claimed," said the court.
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"Where does the money of DMCs go?" asked Justice Shah. To this, Akhtar replied that all the money generated by the DMCs was taken by the provincial government.
"When the Sindh government takes the money generated by DMCs then why is it not invested in this sector?" asked the court.
The lawyer for the government maintained that the Sindh government provides a fixed amount of funds to KMC.
The counsel for KE maintained that bills of 72 connections of the KMC were not being paid.
The court remarked that KE would have to be paid its bills. "People are already tormented. It would be another big crisis if the city was paralysed due to no electricity and non-payment of bills," remarked Justice Baqar.
"The court does not want to curse or taunt any party but why don't the stakeholders find a solution to this problem," he said, adding that the city generates big revenue and the payment of bills was not a big problem.
The court remarked that a solution to the problem must be suggested. "All of you have the experience and responsibility, then why don't you find a solution to this problem," said the court.
The court instructed all stakeholders to call a meeting and suggest a feasible solution by April 12.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 11th, 2019.
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