KARACHI: A petition has been filed in the alleged acid attack case of Fakhra Younus, a woman who committed suicide in Italy last month after undergoing up to 39 surgeries to correct the disfiguration from an acid attack.
The petition was filed by the Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research (PILER), Javed Iqbal Burki, Najma Sadiq and Saeed Baloch through Faisal Siddiqui on Monday morning.
The petition was heard by Justices Maqbool Baqar and Shafi Siddiqui at the Sindh High Court.
In the petition, it was appealed to the court to declare the initial judgement of 2003 by District and Sessions Court South in the case illegal and that the case should be tried again.
The petitioners prayed to the court that in such cases, the court should ensure that the statements are recorded in a “free atmosphere” and that directions should be sought from the subordinate judiciary.
The plea further requested that the police officials should be aware of the amendment brought in 2011, in the criminal justice system.
"The court should be cautious and sensitive in the trial of the cases of violence against women specially when the prosecution witnesses retract their initial statements," said the plea.
SHC ordered for notices to be issued to the advocate general and prosecutor general of Sindh for a date to be fixed later.
The court also called for the entire record and ordered for it to be preserved as the lawyer for the petitioner fears that it will be tampered with or important documents will go missing from the case file.
Earlier, law experts had said that Younus’ acid attack case can no longer be reopened as the government did not file any appeal against the acquittal of accused former MPA Bilal Khar.
A case against Khar was registered on the complaint of Shahida Malik on May 14, 2000 for attempted murder. However, the discrepancies between statements of witnesses allowed the accused to file successful applications of bail and acquittal.
Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that the hearing was underway in the District and Sessions Court South, which has been corrected. The error is regretted.
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