Peshawar High Court has granted bail in two separate cases involving honor killings.
The first case involved Swat resident, Akhtar Ali, suspected of being involved in the killing of his wife and another man over three months ago.
The bail was granted by Justice Shahid Khan of a single-member bench, who directed the submission of two surety bonds of Rs200,000 each for Ali’s release.
The incident, which took place on July 22, 2023, was initially reported at the Shaheedan Wenai police station in Swat under sections 302 and 311 of the Pakistan Penal Code and Section 15 of the Arms Act.
The complainant in the FIR, station house officer of the police station, Mohammad Zaib Khan, claimed that he along with a police team went to the crime site after learning about the murder of a man and a woman and found out that the deceased were killed by the petitioner, who suspected that the two had an extramarital affair
During the hearing, the bench noted that the case lacked substantial evidence against Ali.
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 nor did he produce any other “cogent and reliable information, which could prima facie spoke about the guilt or otherwise of the petitioner.”
Lawyers Saeed Khan, Askar Khan, and Dunya Zeb, representing the petitioner, emphasized the absence of witnesses and evidence connecting Ali to the crime.
They added that the murders took place at nighttime and that there was no evidence to connect the petitioner with the commission of the offense.
Similarly, the court also granted bail to Habib Khan and his three sons – Talim Khan, Owais Khan, and Zarif Khan – from Lower Dir district.
It accepted the joint bail petition of suspects on the condition of furnishing two surety bonds of Rs100,000 each.
They were arrested on suspicion of the honor killing of Habib’s daughter-in-law, Nish Bibi, whose body was found at their residence on Sept 23, 2023.
An FIR was lodged by the mother of the girl, who alleged mistreatment and torture by her husband and in-laws.
The complainant claimed that her daughter was married to Dawood six years ago but she didn’t have kids and she often asked her husband for 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.
Legal counsel Shabbir Khan Daulatkhel defended the petitioners, maintaining that the prosecution’s case was founded on rumors, lacking any concrete evidence against the accused.
The initial bail application of the petitioners was rejected on Oct 12, 2023, by an additional sessions judge in the Chakdara area of Lower Dir district.