Islamabad(April 17, 2018): The Islamabad High Court (IHC) announced its verdict on Tuesday in the Tayyaba torture case.
IHC Justice Aamer Farooq ruled that suspended Additional District and Sessions Judge Raja Khurram Ali Khan and his wife Maheen Zafar would serve a year each in prison for torturing the child maid.
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The two have also been fined Rs50,000 each for the crime of employing an underage (below 12 years of age) child.
The accused were present in court today when the judgment was read out.
Following the verdict, the accused filed a bail plea which will be heard by the same bench later today.The accused judge pleaded that he will challenge today’s sentencing in the Supreme Court and thus deserves bail, which in any case is liable when the punishment is only a year’s.
The judge is presently in the custody of police whereas his wife has been shifted to a police checkpoint.The judgment of the case was reserved on March 27 after the court heard the final arguments from both the sides.
On December 29, 2016, Tayyaba, a 10-year-old domestic help, was recovered from the house of the judge after receiving complaints of torture from neighbours. The issue sparked outrage on social media and led to calls for strict and swift justice.Subsequently, a first information report (FIR) was filed against the judge and his wife at the I-9 police station.
An inquiry report by the police had found that the judge’s wife was responsible for torturing the child maid, and Khurram of indirect criminal negligence.
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The Islamabad High Court reserved its verdict last month after completion of the arguments in the Tayyaba Torture Case. The case of torture on Tayyaba — who was working as the domestic servant at the sessions judge house — caught media’s attention after she was recovered from the accused couple’s house. However, the girl narrated her ordeal after being politely enquired by a female magistrate later. She told the magistrate she was beaten and her hand was burnt on the stove for losing a broom.Earlier on January 08, Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar took notice of a delay in the trial of the alleged torture of minor domestic worker Tayyaba in Islamabad, demanding an explanation for the hold-up from the Islamabad High Court (IHC) registrar.
The case of 10-year-old Tayyaba, a domestic worker at the home of former additional district and sessions judge Raja Khurram Ali and his wife Maheen, first came to light after photos of the child depicting alleged torture by her employers began circulating on social media.Tayyaba was rescued from their residence with visible wounds on Dec 28, 2016 and a first information report was filed against her employers a day later.
Ali reached a compromise with Tayyaba’s parents on Jan 2, 2017, and a day later the child was handed over to her parents. On Jan 4, however, the apex court took suo motu notice of the matter and directed police to investigate all aspects of the case.The Supreme Court in a hearing on Jan 11 then observed that the role of a lawyer, Raja Zahoor Hassan, was of key interest with regards to an ‘illegitimate compromise’ reached between the suspects and the child’s family.
CJP Nisar had insisted there was no doubt that a criminal act had been committed in the case and directed police to investigate the preparation of the compromise deed as well as matters related to internal trafficking of child labourers.After the police in their report had focused only on the child’s abuse and the possible involvement of the suspects, the SC expressed displeasure with the investigation of the case and referred it back to the IHC for further deliberation.
During today’s hearing, Raja Khurram Ali’s lawyer said that the case had not been resolved because the IHC refused to accept an out-of-court settlement between the accused and Tayyaba’s parents.
The CJP turned down his argument, saying, “When parents fail [to fulfill their duty] the court has to take their place”.The CJP asked whether Ali had been suspended from his post, to which the defence lawyer responded that his client was out on bail.
The court issued a notice to the advocate general Punjab and adjourned the hearing for an indefinite period.
In total, the statements of 19 witnesses were recorded in the case, wherein 11 were from civil servants and eight from private witnesses, including Tayyaba’s parents.