Benefit of doubt: Two men acquitted in extortion case

A two-judge bench set aside the sentences awarded to the appellants


Our Correspondent April 16, 2015
A two-judge bench set aside the sentences awarded to the appellants. PHOTO: EXPRESS

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) acquitted on Thursday two men accused of extortion and possessing illegal arms due to the prosecution's failure to prove the charges.

A two-judge bench, comprising justices Naimatullah Phulpoto and Nazar Akbar, set aside the sentences awarded to the appellants, Shuhab Zaman and Muhammad Sabir, by the anti-terrorism court (ATC) on September 7, 2013.

They were given 10-year imprisonment after they were found guilty of demanding Rs5 million in extortion from the manager of a cellular company's franchise in Civil Lines in March 2012.

The additional district and sessions judge (Central) Aliya Latif Unar, who is also a judge at an ATC, awarded them a seven year jail term under the Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) 1997 and two years under the Section 13(d) of the Arms Ordinance 1965.

Civil Lines police arrested the men and lodged an FIR against them under Sections 386, 508-B and 34 of the Pakistan Penal Code read with Section 7 of the ATA, 1997. Muhammad Mujahid alias Azad and Taig Ali Magsi are absconders in the case.

The SHC judges ruled that there were several circumstances, which created doubt in the prosecution case.

The judgment read: "While relying upon the referred case, we hold that the prosecution has failed to prove its case beyond any shadow of doubt."

Published in The Express Tribune, April 17th, 2015.

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