A petty argument costs a young girl her life.

To avenge an insult, 20-year-old Sonia was kidnapped by her neighbor from outside her house in Multan, sexually assaulted, and then doused with petrol before being set on fire. All this was done because her neighbor felt he had a score to settle, as a few days prior to the incident, Sonia’s father had a heated argument with him during which he slapped him. Upon finding her, Sonia’s family immediately rushed her to the hospital, where the doctors informed them that she had sustained burns on 35% of her body.

Sonia’s distraught father approached DLAC-Multan. The DLAC team and panel lawyer went to the hospital to record Sonia’s account of the incident. Confident that they had all the details at hand, they duly registered a case against the accused on October 28, 2015. The panel lawyer submitted an additional application to the Station House Officer (SHO) to include additional charges in the FIR to correspond with the nature of the incident. Upon the refusal of the SHO to file additional charges, a petition was filed in the Sessions Court. Tragically, Sonia succumbed to her injuries. A few days later, the petition filed, was accepted.

However, it took a further six months for the case to be heard in court.

On May 10, 2016, the Anti-Terrorism Court imposed a fine of PKR 2,110,000 and sentenced the accused to life imprisonment for:

(i) causing hurt by dangerous means or substances (Section 336-B) (ii) outraging the modesty and use of criminal force (Section 354), and (iii) murder by intention (Section 302-B) under the Pakistan Penal Code; and for creating a sense of fear and insecurity in the area under Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997.

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