ISLAMABAD: The top court tasked on Tuesday the Islamabad High Court (IHC) to apprise where should the trial be conducted in the Tayyaba torture case once the charge-sheet is submitted.
The Supreme Court of Pakistan also sought response from two sessions judges who cleared the accused and his wife of allegations of mistreating the 10-year-old child maid.
The child housemaid was found tortured and put in illegal confinement at the residence of Additional District & Sessions Judge (ADSJ) Raja Khurram Ali Khan, with the case drawing public outrage over treatment to minors.
The apex court observed that the high court can decide about the trial court under Section 526 (transfer the case or itself try it) of the Criminal Procedure Code.
The ADSJ and his wife Maheen Zafar were booked for torturing the 10-year-old maid, but ADSJ Muhammad Atta Rabbani, ADSJ Raja Asif Mehmood and lawyer Raja Zahoorul Hassan cleared the latter of charges on January 3.
Justice Rabbani had handed over the custody of the juvenile housemaid in a hasty manner, allowing the minor and her legal guardians to use his chambers as pathway to avoid the media standing outside the court.
Similarly, Justice Mehmood had approved a compromise between the parties after lawyer Hassan and an uncle of the girl identified them as the parents and guardians. On the same day, Justice Mehmood granted pre-arrest bail to Maheen while accusing the police of mala fide intentions in the case.
Later, the same judge also granted interim bail to the accused judge, who was made OSD by the IHC in line with the findings of an inquiry earlier conducted, till February 1.
Once the Supreme Court took suo moto notice, it voiced serious concerns at the loopholes in the ‘compromise’ reached under questionable circumstances; hasty handover of the child maid, and the suspicious role of the counsel for her guardians.
On Tuesday, the three-member bench noted that the decision of handing over the minor in haste was not as per the law as Justice Rabbani overlooked the order of an assistant commissioner who ruled to send the child to the crisis centre.
Also, the bench said it would want to look at the grounds on which Justice Mehmood granted bail to the lady suspect.