ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday suspended the April 17 verdict on the Tayyaba torture case.
The court had earlier convicted Additional District & Sessions Judge (ADSJ) Raja Khurram Ali Khan and his wife Maheen Zafar of harming, neglecting and abandoning a juvenile housemaid employed at their residence in the capital. The court ordered the couple to submit surety bonds of Rs200,000 each and directed the case to be fixed in the second week of May.
A division comprising of Justices Athar Minallah and Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb heard the appeal filed by the couple challenging the verdict handed down by Justice Aamer Farooq. The judge and his wife were sentenced to one year in prison and fined Rs50,000 each under Section 328-A of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC).
On Friday, the division bench issued notices to the minor and the state for Monday (today) when the couple challenged the judgment. The couple pleaded ‘not guilty’ after being indicted and stood trial.
In the appeal, the counsel for the couple said that the “impugned judgment clearly depicts that evidence/data available on the record was not properly looked into by learned single judge in chamber and imposed his own findings which are contrary to law and record.” They maintained the judgment showed evidence available on record was not perused by the court and appellants were convicted on the basis of whims.
The gruesome story of the juvenile maid was picked up by the media after it first went viral on social media in late 2016. Subsequently, police registered a case and the IHC’s top judge also took notice and directed the registrar to initiate an inquiry. But the supposed father of the girl pardoned her tormentor and went missing with the child.
Taking suo motu notice of the incident, the Supreme Court (SC) overruled the ‘pardon’ granted to the judge and his wife and directed police to produce the girl. A subsequent medical report revealed the child sustained 11 contact burn-trauma injuries and an infection on her face, neck, knees, right thigh, left toe, back, arms, and right buttock.