Rawalpindi-Lahore High Court Rawalpindi Bench on Tuesday maintained 20 years imprisonment of a convicted rapist of 13-year-old girl while rejecting his appeal against the sentence.

The apex court also acquitted a lady doctor involved in conducting abortion of the victim girl for bribe.

LHC Rawalpindi Bench Justice Chaudhry Abdul Aziz dismissed appeal challenging a lower court’s decision of 20 years imprisonment.

When the LHC Bench Justice Abdul Aziz took up petition of Ashfaq, a resident of Jhang Bahtar and local leader of PML-N, his council Basharat pleaded that his client was innocent and was roped in the bogus rape case to victimise him politically. “Since my client is a veteran political figure and was contesting local bodies elections in his area, the political rivals engineered a plan to implicate him in fake rape case to pull him out from election run,” he added.

Therefore, the court should drop charges against him and cancel his imprisonment sentence, Basharat said.

While opposing the arguments of defence, the prosecutor Mir Nasir Bilal Advocate said Ashfaq was a notorious criminal who had rapped a poor 13-year-old girl on gunpoint and when the girl got pregnant, he took her to a private clinic where Dr Talat carried out her abortion against Rs80,000. He also added that Ashfaq was not victimised politically as the victim’s father Sajid was proposer of covering candidate of the accused. The prosecutor said that the defence also failed in producing any substantial evidence in support of accused. He prayed to the court to maintain the imprisonment sentence of the accused. After completion of arguments of both parties, LHC Rawalpindi Bench Chaudhry Abdul Aziz rejected the petition of Ashfaq maintaining his jail punishment. The judge also acquitted the lady doctor Talat on lack of evidences but remarked, “The role of Dr Talat was much condemnable in the case”.

A court of law had sentenced Ashfaq to 20 years in jail for raping a 13-year-old girl on gunpoint in 2015, observing that rape was one of the most barbaric and heinous crime and the loss suffered by girl could not be forgiven.

The court also imposed Rs 100,000 fine on the rapist.

The court also sent a female doctor of private clinic behind the bars for 3 years for carrying out abortion of rape victim girl against hefty bribe paid by the rapist. Additional and Sessions Judge Taxila Malik Ahmed Arshad Mehmood Jasra convicted and awarded 20-year rigorous imprisonment to Ashfaq, the resident of Bahter and local leader of PML-N.

The judge also held guilty the lady doctor Talat for committing a crime by conducting abortion of rape victim against bribe and sent her to jail for 3 years.

ASJ Taxila Malik Ahmed Arshad Mehmood Jasra has convicted rape accused Muhammad Ashfaq and lady doctor Ms Talat and awarded them imprisonment for 20 and 3 years respectively. The judge also ordered Muhammad Ashfaq to deposit Rs 100,000 fine with the court. The judge acquitted Amir and Asif, brothers of the rape convict, because of insufficient evidences.