Senior Resident Magistrate Wanangwa Nyirenda has acquitted an Indian national Adil Patel who was involved in physical altercation with a female security guard at City Mall’s KFC premises in Lilongwe.
The acquittal and termination of the case has been arrived at following out of court settlement that both parties agreed on compensating the survivor Bernadetta Tchale with K1 million compensation.
Magistrate Nyirenda has also ordered that Patel be given back his travelling documents specifically passport which is in custody of the court.
“It was agreed that the woman be compensated with K1 million as her compensation for the common assault that she went through and upon that settlement she agreed that she is going to withdraw the complaint address the court accordingly.
“The court has approved the terms that have been agreed then following that it has terminated the proceedings and proceeded to acquit the accused person and remove all bail conditions and release him unconditionally,” said Oscar Taulo, lawyer representing Patel.
Gender rights activist Dr Jessy Kabwila has applauded the court for the decision and further clarified that it is not the court that ordered the K1 million compensation but parties agreed on out of court settlement through reconciliation process.
“I just want to applaud the court for having given a chance for the two parties in the KFC issue to talk, I want also want to take this opportunity to make it clear, it is not Magistrate Nyirenda who ordered this.
“The court gave people a chance to discuss and all that has happened is that our judiciary system has followed due process from what these people discussed, it is not the court that ordered Adil to pay K1 million, no, it is not,” said Dr Kabwila.
According to Section 161 of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Code, Promotion of reconciliation discusses that in all cases a court may, without formality, promote reconciliation and encourage and facilitate the settlement in an amicable way of proceedings for common assault.
Patel, who was answering a common assault charge, is an KFC employee and works as a storekeeper while Tchale is a security guard working with Omega Security.