Court seeks more time to wrap up couple harassment case

Trial court judge says non-availability of defence lawyers causes adjournments

Saqib Bashir December 13, 2021
Court seeks more time to wrap up couple harassment case


Additional Sessions Judge Atta Rabbani has asked the Islamabad High Court (IHC) to give two more months to complete the trial of the couple sexual harassment case.

In a letter, the trial court judge said that due to the large number of lawyers representing the accused in the case, who cross-examine the witnesses on their own availability, the proceedings had to be adjourned and the trial could not be completed within the stipulated time of two months.

The letter said that so far statements of 14 witnesses in the case have been recorded while cross-examination of all but two has been completed.

The letter sought two more months to complete the trial.

Earlier, IHC Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani had directed the trial court to wrap up the case on a daily basis and complete it in two months. The high court had directed the trial court to take legal action against those trying to dangle the proceedings.

The high court had rejected the bail pleas of three co-accused, Farhan Shaheen, Hafiz Ata-ur-Rehman and Mohammad Idris Qayyum Butt, and ordered to complete the trial in two months.

On the other hand, 14 witnesses who have recorded their statements in the case are Assistant Commissioner Secretariat Anil Saeed, Assistant Commissioner Saddar Circle Dr Sania Saeed, plaintiff of the case (then) SHO Golra Police Station Asim Ghaffar, FIA Deputy Director Franz Masood Ali who prepared three forensic reports, FIA Technical Assistant Anis-ur-Rehman (Anis-ur-Rehman had compiled a report on Usman Mirza's trends on Twitter), Noor Elahi, Muharir Mall Khana Inayat Khan, Rabb Nawaz, Sajjad Afzal, shop owner Usman Shah, Syed Wali Khan, CDR operator Mazhar and Sher Ali.

The court has adjourned further hearing of the case till December 16.

At the last hearing, five accused including the main accused Usman Mirza, Hafiz Ata-ur-Rehman, Idris Qayyum Butt, Mohib Bangash and Farhan Shaheen were produced before the court from Adiala jail while accused Rehan and Umar Bilal Marwat appeared on a court notice.

On September 28, the sessions court in Islamabad charge-sheeted Usman Mirza and six other accused involved in harassing, torturing and blackmailing a boy and a girl in Sector E-11.

All the suspects, Hafiz Ataur Rehman, Farhan Shaheen, Adaras Qayyum Butt, Rehan Hassan Mughal, Umar Bilal Marwat and Mohib Bangash were handed charge-sheets. All the suspects denied committing the crime and accept the charge sheet.

According to the police charge-sheet submitted to the court, Usman Mirza is the prime offender in the case who recorded inappropriate videos of the couple, stripped them naked, assaulted them, and kept them hostage for hours.

The prime suspects hurled threats at the couple and forced them to have sex in front of them, according to the police charge sheet.

The charge sheet said that the suspects touched private parts of the girl and forced the couple to dance naked.

The suspects filmed videos of the victims, blackmailed them and received extortion from them as well, the charge sheet said.


Published in The Express Tribune, December 13th, 2021.


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