A court decided on an application filed by a co-accused in the serial rape-murders of at least three women and girls. Justice Siddiqui rejected an application filed by Maha* — a master’s student at a university in Islamabad — who had challenged a trial court order disallowing her from appearing in juvenile court.
Qamar* and Maha are accused of the rape and murder of 11-year old Sehr* in the outskirts of the city. On April 4, a trial court had rejected Maha’s application to be tried by a juvenile court.
Her lawyer, Advocate Hashmat Habib, challenged the trial court order by claiming it was illegal and approached the IHC. According to Habib, Maha is under 18 years of age, yet the trial court refused to shift her case to a juvenile court. He claimed that according to her birth certificate and educational certificates she is under 18 year old and her case should be sent to juvenile court.
The trial court was provided with the birth certificate but did not accept it. On February 18, the Supreme Court had taken suo motu notice of the case and directed the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to supervise the investigation and submit a comprehensive report. Both the accused were in police custody since the first week of March.
The main accused, an MBA holder from the same university, with the abetment of his girlfriend, Maha, had kidnapped, raped and murdered Sehr — a resident of Bhara Kahu who took after school tuition from Maha — and burnt her body before disposing of it in a drain. They also confessed to the alleged rape and murder of Maha’s 22-year-old classmate Samia at Maha’s house. Qamar has also confessed to at least three other rapes in Islamabad including a 15-year-old and a 19-year-old. Maha was a tutor to both of them.
Earlier, police sources also said that Maha is at least four-months pregnant, allegedly with Qamar’s child.
*Names changed to protect identities
Published in The Express Tribune, April 13th, 2013.
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