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Usman Mirza’s accomplice granted bail in harassment case

Umer Bilal is a non-convict, the Islamabad High Court ruled

SAMAA | - Posted: Aug 17, 2021 | Last Updated: 2 months ago
SAMAA |
Posted: Aug 17, 2021 | Last Updated: 2 months ago

Umer Bilal Marawat, an accomplice of Usman Mirza who is accused of sexually harassing, torturing, and filming a young couple in Islamabad, has been granted bail by the Islamabad High Court.

In a hearing on Tuesday, Justice Tariq Mehmood Jahangiri issued a 16-page judgement. Marawat has been ordered to submit two surety bonds worth Rs1 million each.

The court document comprises statements of the victims, the FIR, arguments made by lawyers of both the parties and the investigation report prepared by the police.

The court revealed that there’s no evidence against Marawat. “He has not been nominated in the FIR neither is he involved in any other criminal case.”

The order stated that the investigation in the case has been completed. “The courts should not decide the cases on the hype created on social media, rather decide them on the basis of the evidence available on record.” Marawat is non-convict and not required by the police.

“He is behind bars without progress in the trial,” the court ruled, adding that no moral and legal compulsion exists to keep him imprisoned for an indefinite period which amounts to punishment without trial.

On August 13, the prime suspect, Mirza, and his accomplices were sent to Adiala Jail for another 14 days. Their judicial remand was extended and the suspects were summoned before the court on August 27.

On July 30, a district and sessions court in Islamabad had directed the police to submit the challan by September 10.

The case

Usman Mirza, the co-owner of a car business in Islamabad, became the face of sexual harassment when a video surfaced on the internet showing him harassing and torturing a young couple at an Islamabad apartment. The unsettling video led to an outcry and Mirza was arrested on July 7. His accomplices were soon nabbed from different areas of the twin cities.

It was revealed later that Mirza had not only tortured and filmed the couple but also blackmailed and extorted money from them. He was said to have received 1.3 million from the young man and woman who are now married. Days after the arrests were made another woman told journalists that she, too, had been harassed and blackmailed by Mirza ‘for quite some time.’

Mirza and his alleged accomplices face a host of charges ranging from assault and harassment to extortion and robbery.

Last month, Islamabad Police DIG Afzal Kausar told a press conference that they had added new charges in the FIR under at least seven sections of the Pakistan Penal Code. He named the following sections: 375 (rape), 384 (punishment for extortion), 342 (punishment for wrongful confinement), 114 (abettor present when offence is committed), 395 (punishment of dacoity), 496-A (enticing or taking away or detaining with criminal intent a woman), 377-B (sexual abuse).

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