A man accused of kidnapping a Hindu girl for marriage has been granted bail by the Peshawar High Court (PHC).
As per the details, Justice Syed M Attique Shah accepted the bail petition of Ubaidur Rehman, a father of two, in the case against two surety bonds worth Rs100,000 each.
Advocate Asfandyar Khan appeared for the petitioner and contended that his client had not kidnapped the girl and that she had gone away with his client of her own free will.
The complainant’s counsel opposed the bail petition and said the “abductee” was a minor and her kidnapping for the purpose of marriage was a heinous offense. The lawyer argued that the girl’s statement was recorded under duress as she was influenced by the suspects.
The court, however, granted bail to the accused.
It merits a mention that this comes days after an additional district and sessions judge granted bail to seven co-accused in the case but turned down Rehman’s plea, prompting him to approach the high court.
The girl’s mother, Shakuntla Bibi, had earlier registered an FIR at the East Cantonment Police Station on Dec 20 against the petitioner and his alleged facilitators of kidnapping her adopted daughter.
The case was registered under Pakistan Penal Code’s Section 365-B (kidnapping of a woman to compel her for marriage).
Following this, police had recovered the girl from Rawalpindi and arrested eight suspects.
The number of reported cases of forced conversion in the country rose fourfold in 2021 as compared to the previous year, claims the Centre for Social Justice. In 2020, 15 cases were highlighted in the media but in 2021 some 60 cases were highlighted.