PHC grants bail to Swat resident in honor killing case

The Peshawar High Court has granted bail to a Swat resident who was suspected of being involved in the honor killing of his wife and a man over three months ago. Justice Shahid Khan, while accepting the bail petition of suspect Akhtar Ali, directed him to submit two surety bonds of Rs 200,000 each for release.

The FIR of honor killings was registered at Swat’s Shaheedan Wenai police station on July 22, 2023, under sections 302 and 311 of the Pakistan penal code and Section 15 of the Arms Act.

The complainant in the FIR was the station house officer of that police station, Mohammad Zaib Khan. He claimed that he and a police team went to the crime scene after learning about the murder of a man and a woman. They found out that the deceased were killed by the petitioner, who suspected that the two had an extramarital affair.

The bench observed that records of the case divulged that the incident was “prima facie unseen in its nature.” It added that the complainant in the case had neither disclosed the name of the person who informed him about the involvement of the petitioner in the crime nor did he produce any other cogent and reliable information. This could, prima facie, speak about the guilt or otherwise of the petitioner.

Lawyers Saeed Khan, Askar Khan and Dunya Zeb appeared for the petitioner and contended that there was neither any witness to the murders nor was there any private complainant in the case. They added that the murders took place at night and that there was no evidence to connect the petitioner with the commission of the offense.

Meanwhile, the bench also granted bail to a man and his three sons arrested on the charge of killing their female relative in Lower Dir district over a month ago. It accepted the joint bail petition of the suspects on the condition of furnishing two surety bonds of Rs 100,000 each.

The petitioners included Lower Dir resident Habib Khan and his sons, including Talim Khan, Owais Khan and Zarif Khan, who were booked for the murder of Habib’s daughter-in-law, Nish Bibi. The deceased was married to Habib’s son, Dawood Khan, the prime suspect in the case. He went abroad after the killing.

The FIR of the murder was registered at Asbanr police station, Lower Dir, on September 23, 2023, wherein the mother of the deceased woman was the complainant. The complainant claimed that her daughter was married to Dawood six years ago but she was issueless and she often asked her husband for her medical treatment.

She claimed that for the same reason, relations between the couple were strained and that she was mistreated by her husband and in-laws and was also tortured by them. The complainant said she had received information that her daughter had died, after which she visited her residence and found her body lying on her bed. She alleged that her daughter was strangled by the accused.

Counsel for the petitioners, Shabbir Khan Daulatkhel, insisted that the prosecution’s case was based on rumors, while no evidence was available of the involvement of the petitioners in the case. On October 12, 2023, the bail application of the petitioners was rejected by an additional session judge in the Chakdara area of Lower Dir district.

The Peshawar High Court has granted bail to a Swat resident who was suspected of being involved in the honor killing of his wife and a man over three months ago.