SHC upholds death sentence in Afreen murder case

KARACHI: Sindh High Court (SHC) on Tuesday upheld the verdict of a session court that awarded death sentence to an accused for killing a TV producer Afreen Baig in her DHA residence, and acquitted her husband.

A division bench of SHC headed by Justice Sajjad Ali Shah dismissed the appeal of accused Muhammad Bux, victim’s car driver against his conviction by a session court. Bux was found guilty of killing Afreen Baig in October 2004 in her DHA residence. The trial court had acquitted Farooq Mengal, her husband and a co-accused in the case, from the charge of masterminding the murder.

The court observed that the prosecution had established its case against accused Mohammad Bux beyond a shadow of a doubt, but failed to prove its case against co-accused Farooq Mengal.

According to the prosecution, Afreen Baig, a TV artiste and producer, was killed in her DHA residence on Oct 14, 2004 by her driver, Mohammad Bux, and his wife, Zahida. Her husband, Farooq Mengal, was alleged to have masterminded the murder of the TV artiste.

Accused Mohammad Bux had stated in his confessional statement that he had killed the woman on the inducement of her husband, Farooq Mengal, since he [the husband] was angry at her and suspected that Ms Baig had an illicit relationship with her former husband.

However, the session court in its judgment announced on June 22, 2009 said that Farooq Mengal was charged with having masterminded the murder of his wife because he was annoyed over her alleged relationship with her ex-husband and had an eye on the wealth of the deceased, but the prosecution had failed to establish the charge against him.