Additional district and session court judge Jahangir Gondal reportedly ordered the Nikaah of a 21 year old girl with her rapist. According to sources, a man named Tariq Khan from Police Lines area raped a girl multiple times over a period of a year, after which she gave birth to a his daughter. However, the baby couldn’t survive for a long. Tariq received her dead body and threw it away. It was recovered from bushes along roadside, declared unidentified and buried by Edhi. At this, the baby’s mother filed a case against Tariq Niazi in Police Station Saddar Bairooni. During court’s proceedings, Niazi’s counsel claimed that the girl has “forgiven” him. Upon asking the girl, she reportedly agreed. Therefore, after this “settlement” between the girl and the rapist, ASJ Jahangir Gondal ordered the man to marry the girl. Following the court’s decision, the defense lawyer made necessary arrangements on urgent basis and their marriage was solemnized during the court break. The accused signed the marriage contract while he was handcuffed, after which mithai was distributed among the court staff and other people present in the court room. While Tariq’s bail plea was postponed until Wednesday September 23, 2020 and he was sent to Adiala Jail on judicial remand, the court also demanded provision of a sworn declaration of settlement from the girl. [UPDATE: According to reports, the court acquitted the accused on Wednesday September 23, 2020.] Sources reveal that this case is not the first one where the said ASJ has succeeded in scoring a settlement deal between a rape victim and the accused, or where the complainant of in a rape case later exonerated the accused and was “no longer interested in the case”.Earlier in August 2019, a woman accused a shopkeeper named Abdul Haq for raping her niece. Under offence 376 PPC, an FIR was registered against him at Police Station Airport, Rawalpindi. Later, the complainant submitted her affidavit to the Area Magistrate, stating that she filed the case against the accused due to some misunderstanding. Furthermore, she refused to appear before the court. Seeing “no probability of conviction of accused” as he was “exonerated from the commission of alleged offence” by the complainant, the court granted him bail on February 4, 2020. In another case “The State Vs. Ansar Zia” from October 2019, a man named Ansar Zia was nominated in a rape FIR registered at Police Station New Town, Rawalpindi. However, later the complainant appeared before the court and “deposed on oath” that the case was registered “due to misunderstanding against the accused” and he is “no more interested in further prosecution of case”. The victim herself gave a statement that the accused did not commit rape with her. Considering these statements, the court acquitted the accused on Feb 3, 2020 declaring that “there is no possibility or probability of accused being convicted in this case if the remaining evidence is summoned and recorded. No useful purpose would be served by continuing this trial further” and continuing the trial would waste “precious time of the court” and “create hardships and difficulties for the accused”.In December 2019, a complaint was registered in Police Station Rawat, Rawalpindi, against Muhammad Saqib and his accomplice for abducting and raping a girl in Dhok Adra area. In August 2020, the complainant appeared before the court and declared that he “does not want to pursue the case anymore”. This was followed by a statement from the victim that she was neither abducted nor raped and her father registered the complaint “due to misunderstanding” which is why she is no more interested in further prosecution of the case and has no objection against acquittal of the accused. Hence, to avoid “hardships and difficulties for the accused”, Muhammad Saqib was granted bail. These are just a few examples of how rape cases are generally wrapped up in courts.