Court moved for cancellation of suspect’s bail in underage marriage case

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A sessions court has issued a notice to a suspect on an application seeking the cancellation of his bail in a case pertaining to the alleged abduction and child marriage of a teenage girl.Zaheer Ahmed is facing charges of kidnapping the 15-year-old girl from Karachi and solemnising underage marriage with her in Lahore.

Syed Mehdi Kazmi, father of the victim, through his lawyer Jibran Nasir filed an application under Section 497 (5) of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), requesting the court to revoke the bail granted to the accused for “attempting to tamper with the evidence and intimidating him and his family”.

In the application, he stated that the court had on September 14 granted post-arrest bail to the accused with an observation that the prosecution side could be at liberty to seek cancellation of his bail if he attempted to tamper with the evidence or did not cooperate in investigation if further needed.

After being released on bail, the girl’s father alleged, Zaheer attempted to tamper with the prosecution evidence and sent a “criminally intimidating” voice note to him via WhatsApp on October 10, forcing him to withdraw the case and to not try to meet his daughter, who is residing at a shelter home in Karachi. The accused threatened that he should worry about the future of his younger daughters whom he mentioned by their names, he added.The applicant said Zaheer also used the photo of his youngest daughter as display picture in his WhatsApp number, adding that he had already filed a complaint with the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) against him over such a criminal act and unauthorised use of his daughter’s photo.

He, therefore, pleaded with the court to cancel the bail granted to the accused to prevent him from further tampering with the prosecution evidence by misusing the concession of the bail. As the case came up for hearing before the special gender-based violence court (East), Zaheer, his brother Shabbir Ahmed, Hafiz Ghulam Mustafa, a local cleric who allegedly solemnised Nikah, and a witness, Asghar Ali, appeared before it. They are all out on bail.The investigating officer submitted a report stating that the non-bailable warrants (NBWs) could not be executed on the six absconding suspects.

The matter was adjourned till October 29.The court repeated the NBWs against the absconders and issued a notice to Zaheer on the complainant’s plea for the cancellation of his bail. The absconding suspects include Noor Muneer, Muneer Hussain Lughmani, Muhammad Waseem, Khurram Mehmood, Muhammad Arif and Muhammad Umar.

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