Islamabad - The Supreme Court Shariat Appellate Bench Monday converted death sentence, awarded to a young man for raping a girl in April 2006, into 10-year imprisonment.

A five-member larger bench, headed by Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan, hearing an appeal against the Federal Shariat Court judgment, also fined the accused Rs 100,000, saying in case the accused failed to pay the fine he would have to further undergo six-month imprisonment.

A man Shah Rehman in April 2006 raped a girl in the jurisdiction of Shabaz Ghar Police Station district Mardan. The Sessions Court under Protection of Women (Criminal Laws Amendment) Act 2006 had awarded him death sentence for kidnapping and rape. Shah Rehman then filed an appeal against the Sessions Court order in the Federal Shariat Court.

However, the Shariat Court upheld the death sentence, awarded under the Women Protection Act. Advocate Javed Aziz Sindhu representing the accused argued that his client was awarded death sentence under Hudood Ordinance, while the incident took place in April 2006. The Protection of Women (Criminal Laws Amendment) Act 2006 was promulgated in December 2006. He pleaded that according to the PPC Act 10-year imprisonment should have been awarded to his client and not the death sentence. The court after hearing his arguments converted the death sentence into 10-year imprisonment.