Conviction and Circumstantial Evidence

Conviction and Circumstantial Evidence Case Laws Circumstantial Evidence Criminal Appeal Criminal Law Knowledge - Criminal Law Lahore High Court Litigation & Arbitration Murder Relevant Facts Solutions - Criminal Law Mr. Justice Qazi Muhammad Amin Ahmed in his judgment has decided the issue regarding conviction and circumstantial evidence in Criminal Appeal No. 16-J of 2011.

1. Pervez Akhtar, 60/65, his wife Firdous Kausar, 50, daughters Ghazala, 38, Bushra, 27 and granddaughter Zarmina Mehak, 18/20, were found lying dead in their residential house situated in village Dhok Tama Dakhli Pandori at a distance of 4-k.m from Police Station Mangla Cantt. District Jehlum. Incident was reported by Mubeen Akhtar (PW-15) through statement (Ex.PH) recorded by Fazal Hussain, S.I (PW-16) 3.55 p.m at the spot on 21-01-2010. None is nominated as accused nor any motive is cited therein, however, there is a reference of three persons entering the house. Formal First Information Report (Ex.PH/1) is chalked out by Muhammad Ashfaq, ASI (PW-2) at 4:10 p.m. The dead bodies of Pervez Akhtar and Firdous Kausar were lying in the drawing room whereas those of Ghazala, Bushra and Razmina Mehak were present in their bedrooms; their throats were slit with some sharp edged weapon.

2. Investigating Officer during spot inspection, secured blood and having found empty jewelry boxes littering the scene added Section 392 of the Pakistan Penal Code, 1860; this is first inference drawn in the wake of registration of the case. Other recoveries include a mobile handset (P-41), empty box (P-79) with IMEI Number printed thereon, a bloodstained nylon string (P-40), secured vide inventories. Crime scene was captured through photographs (Ex.P/1-10). Dead bodies were dispatched to the mortuary; autopsy was conducted on the dead body of Pervez Akhtar by Dr. Masood Iqbal (PW-5), who noted six incised wounds on the neck, axilla, abdomen and left thigh causing massive damage to thyroid, major blood vessels and small intestine. Injuries to the neck were blamed as cause of death. Probable time between the injuries and death was reckoned as immediate whereas between death and postmortem 12 to 24 hours. Firdous Kausar examined by Dr. Farah Bashir (PW-6) was found to have an incised wound 20 x 3 cm in front of neck extending from right to left mandible below chin, deep to cervical vertebrae, injuring all major vessels, thyroid cartilages and trachea; the second wound measuring 4 x 3 cm was below the chin at the upper level of thyroid cartilages. Injury on the neck was declared as cause of death with probable time between injury and death as immediate and between death and postmortem 12 to 24 hours.

3. Dead body of Ghazala deceased was also examined by this witness, she noted incised wound at the midline area of fronto parietal region on the left shoulder with clinical evidence of fracture of joint accompanied by multiple lacerated wounds on left thumb, middle, index and ring fingers. Two incised wounds on the front of neck were also noted; these are massive incisions i.e. 15 x 3 cm and 20 x 3 cm deep to the level of vertebra, damaging all vessels and structure. Injuries on the neck caused the death immediately after their receipt and time between death and postmortem was given as 12-24 hours. Dr. Tayyaba Farooq (PW-1) conducted autopsy on the dead body of Zarmina Mehak and noted four incised wounds on her neck cutting all major vessels, trachea and hyoid bone. These are declared as cause of death. The witness also examined dead body of Bushra deceased and noted one incised wound on the right side of neck with a stab wound on the right fossa accompanied by small laceration between thumb and index finger. Injury No.1 on the neck was declared as cause of death. This witness omitted to give inter-se duration between injuries, death and postmortem in her statement, however, same finds mention in the autopsy report Ex.PE as immediate and within 12 to 24 hours respectively. Viscera sent for chemical analysis were devoid of poison and vaginal swabs did not contain seminal traces.

4. The Investigating Officer on 23-1-2010 moved application for collection of cell phone data, in respect of IMEI Number printed on empty box (P-79). Mirza Muhammad Umer (PW-13) furnished the first substantive clue when he disclosed about the presence of three persons wrapped in Chaddars with a motorcycle entering the house after its main door was opened on their knock; his statement under Section 161 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898 was recorded on 21-1-2010; this also finds mention in complaint (Ex.PH); his initial position before the Investigating Officer was that owing to darkness he could not identify the entrants, nonetheless, it was the first substantive clue about the presence of three persons shortly before the incident as prior to that none knew about the number of assailants. One Fazal-e-Karim was examined by the Investigating Officer on 24-1-2010 who pointed his finger, for the first time on Qadeer Ahmad, appellant, son-in-law of Pervez Akhtar, deceased married with his daughter Shabnam; Fazal-e-Karim passed away before he could enter the witness box. When approached, Qadeer Ahmad appellant was not found at his residence on 27-1-2010, however, a motorcycle SR/70 (P-21) with the broken headlamp and some traces of blood on the seat was taken into possession. The appellants were arrested on 31-1-2010; it was a major breakthrough in the case followed by a number of incriminatory recoveries.

5. The appellants at the time of their arrest got recovered their cell phone handsets (P-42), (P-43) and (P-44). Pursuant to disclosure, Qadeer Ahmad led to the recovery of gold bangles P-45/1-4, gold rings (P-46/1-2), gold locket (P-47), five currency notes of 1000 denomination each (P-48/1-5), four currency notes of 500 denomination (P-49/1-4), Defense Saving Certificates of Pervez Akhtar, deceased (P-50/P51) from his rented residential house in village Pakwal, followed by Khurram Shahzad who got recovered gold bangles (P-52/1-4), gold ring (P-53), gold earring (P-54), gold chain (P-55), cash (P-56/1-14), Defense Saving Certificates (P-57/ P-58/P-59), laptop (P-60), Movie Camera (P-61), two still cameras (P-62) and (P-63), two bags (P-64) and (P-65) from his residential house in village Aima Ilyas. Naveed Asghar, appellant was the last to lead the Investigating Officer to the recovery of gold ring (P-66), pair of earrings (P-67/1-2), a pair of tops (P-68/1-2), fourteen currency notes of 500 denomination each (P-69/1-14) and a Defence Saving Certificate (P-70) from his residential house in Jandwal on 31-1-2010; the seizures were incorporated into inventories.

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