Hearing adjourned till September 10
The police investigation has found Mufti Aziz-ur-Rehman guilty of raping a madrassa student in Lahore.
Judicial Magistrate Rana Arshad heard the cleric’s bail plea at the Cantt Court on Tuesday.
According to the case record and police report submitted in court, the cleric was found guilty of the crime. “His bail request should be rejected,” the investigation officer requested.
Magistrate Arshad summoned the lawyers of both the suspect and the victim for arguments and has adjourned the hearing till September 10.
At a hearing on August 23, Mufti Aziz’s lawyer demanded the police present the case challan in court. “The accusations and FIR lodged against the cleric are baseless,” he said, adding that the suspect’s pre-arrest bail should be approved.
Previously, the cleric claimed that the video of the crime has been manipulated and linked to him. He demanded a forensic review of the clip should be conducted by the FIA and Punjab Forensic Department.
Mufti Aziz was charged on June 16 after videos showing him forcing himself on the student went viral.
The man (who identified himself but who we will not name), had registered an FIR at North Cantt Police Station in Lahore. He said that he had been a student of Jamia Manzoorul Islamia since 2013.
“During the exam of Darjah-e-Rabia (grade four), Mufti Aziz, who was the Nigran (caretaker) accused me and another guy of putting someone else in our place for the exam and had me banned from appearing in the Wifaqul Madaris exam for three years.”
He said that he pleaded with Mufti Aziz to reconsider the decision upon which the cleric said he would if the young man engaged with him sexually. “So, out of compulsion, I came into his deceit and became a victim. He also promised me that he would have my ban removed and get me to pass the Wifaqul Madaris exam.”
He said he was sexually harassed and blackmailed every Friday for three years. When he went to the madrassa administration, they refused to believe him citing that the mufti was a pious man and accused the victim of lying.
The student thus started secretly filming to collect evidence which he presented to Wifaqul Madari Nazim-e-Aala Hanif Jalandhary. “When Mufti Aziz came to know about this, he threatened to kill me,” the young man told the police. “A few days ago, when someone uploaded the video on social media, I got scared and went into hiding.”
Mufti Aziz had denied the accusation of sexual abuse in a video statement and claimed that he was drugged by his student before he was filmed.
The cleric had claimed that the videos were a conspiracy to remove him from Jamia Manzoorul Islamia, Lahore.