IHC increases accused’s imprisonment to three years

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Tayyaba torture case

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Monday increased the imprisonment of a former judge and his wife to a term of a three year in an appeal in Tayyaba torture case filed by the accused. A divisional bench of IHC comprising Justice Athar Minallah and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb announced the judgment on appeal of former additional district and sessions judge Raja Khurram Ali and his wife Maheen Zafar challenging the one-year imprisonment before the divisional bench.
The bench dismissed the appeals of the suspended judge and his wife, and increased their sentences to three years each. The court also imposed a fine of Rs 0.5 million on the convicts.
The bench issued a 46-page judgment on the case.
The judgement read that “Keeping in view the above principles and law and the facts and circumstances of the instant case, we are satisfied that there is no mitigating factor which will call for handing down the lesser sentence. The appellants are not worthy of any sympathy because the ill treatment and neglect was willful and cannot be justified on any ground whatsoever. They were aware and they deliberately and consciously made an innocent and helpless child to suffer tremendously.” It further stated, “While parting we cannot restrain ourselves from recording our observations regarding the failure of the criminal justice system in protecting the most weak and vulnerable members of the society.”
The order said that the in-charge of the concerned police station, namely Khalid Mehmood Awan, did not “ fulfill his obligations by putting the legal process into motion” after he received information regarding Tayyaba’s plight. “The Inspector General of Police, Islamabad Capital Territory is, therefore, expected to probe the role of Khalid Mehmood Awan, PW16, particularly regarding the making of the video placed on record as Ex DA. The Inspector General is also expected to take urgent and appropriate measures to ensure that professional officers, specially trained to deal with victims who are children, are entrusted with cases relating to them,” it said. The judgment further upheld, “If rule of law is to prevail and the criminal justice system is to be made responsive to the weak and against alleged offences committed by the stronger and privileged segments of the society then even the slightest dereliction of duty by officials inevitably has to be dealt with sternly.”—APP

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