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2016 S C M R 1617

[Supreme Court of Pakistan]

Present: Asif Saeed Khan Khosa, Tariq Parvez and Dr. Muhammad Khalid Masood, JJ

MUHAMMAD ASHRAF---Appellant

Versus

The STATE---Respondent

Criminal Shariat Appeal No. 8 of 2007, decided on 13th June, 2016.

(Against the judgment dated 27-9-2005 passed by Federal Shariat Court, Islamabad in Jail
Criminal Appeal No.122/I of 2003 and Criminal Murder Reference No.14/I of 2003)

(a) Offence of Zina (Enforcement of Hudood) Ordinance (VII of 1979)---

----S. 10(3)---Penal Code (XLV of 1860), Ss. 302(b), 377 & 201---Zina-bil-jabr, qatl-i-amd---
Reappraisal of evidence---Benefit of doubt---Commission of rape and sodomy with the deceased
or her murder or even concealment of her deadbody had not been seen by anyone---Prosecution
witness claimed to have seen the deceased entering the shop of the appellant on the day of
occurrence but in his cross-examination he had conceded that at the relevant time he was
proceeding towards a destination and the shop of the accused did not fall on the route---Another
prosecution witness claimed to have seen the accused going towards a forest while carrying a
bag---Prosecution never established that the bag allegedly carried by the accused on that
occasion contained a dead body---Besides the deadbody had not been found in a bag but was
found lying in a forest---Accused allegedly made a judicial confession before a Magistrate but
the same was retracted by him before the Trial Court and, thus, the said confession could not be
relied upon in the absence of any independent corroboration---Prosecution made some recoveries
of incriminating articles allegedly at the instance of the accused but the memoranda of such
recoveries had dates tampered with and identification of the relevant articles was quite doubtful
as the prosecution had failed to convincingly establish that the recovered articles actually
belonged to the deceased---Case of the prosecution against the accused was primarily based upon
suspicion---Accused was acquitted of the charge in such circumstances by extending him benefit
of doubt---Appeal was allowed accordingly.

(b) Criminal trial---

----Standard of proof---Suspicion---Suspicion howsoever grave or strong could never be a proper


substitute for beyond reasonable doubt proof required in a criminal case.

Muhammad Zaman Bhatti, Advocate Supreme Court for Appellant.

Ch. Zubair Ahmad Farooq, Additional Prosecutor-General, Punjab for the State.
Date of hearing: 13th June, 2016.