The Peshawar High Court (PHC) has granted bail to a man accused of kidnapping a Hindu girl with the intention of marrying her, citing a lack of strong evidence in the case.
The young Hindu girl was snatched from a crowded area of the Peshawar Cantonment by Ubaidur Rehman, who is in his early 20s, last month. She was then purportedly taken to Rawalpindi, were local police were able to retrieve her.
Ubaidur Rehman’s previous petitions for bail had been denied by an additional district court, so the accused field an appeal to the PHC. He was granted bail by Justice Syed M Attique Shah, who ordered Rehman to pay two surety bonds of Rs.100,000 each for his release.
Seven other men who were charged as coconspirators in the case had been granted bail by the additional district court.
The case was registered under Pakistan Penal Code’s Section 365-B (kidnapping of a woman to compel her for marriage).
The complainant in the case is Shakuntla Bibi, the adoptive mother of the girl. In the first investigation report (FIR) she filed on December 20, the woman alleged that the accused and his accomplices kidnapped the girl, who she had adopted in 2006 when the girl was an infant, along with the girl’s brother.
The accused’s counsel told the court during the bail hearing that the girl had left with his client on her own free will, to which the opposing counsel responded that the ‘abductee’ was a minor, so any intention of marrying her would be a ‘heinous offence’