IHC to resume trial in juvenile maid torture case from tomorrow

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Zubair Qureshi

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) is going to resume from tomorrow (Monday) the trial of a district court judge presently working as OSD and his wife who allegedly tortured a minor housemaid, Tayyaba. The IHC chief justice has placed the matter before Justice Aamer Farooq after Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani recused from future hearings after finding the accused guilty in a departmental inquiry. According to Justice Kayani since he conducted and concluded the inquiry proceedings against the judge Raja Khurram Ali Khan and found him guilty and already recommended “major punishment”, he could not conduct trial proceedings any further.
Earlier, Justice Kayani, while ruling that the application for compounding the offence with the parents of the maid was not maintainable, had indicted the judge and directed the prosecution to produce witnesses and evidence. The suspects pleaded ‘not guilty’ and were currently standing trial.
As per the charge sheet, the suspects are facing six charges. The first charge reads that the accused persons wrongfully confined minor housemaid in their house and she was recovered by the police thus they committed a crime punishable under section 342 (Punishment for wrongful confinement) of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC).
The second charge is that Maheen Zafar wife of the accused judge caused injuries (multiple small healed wounds on cheek and below angle of mandible (contact burn) to the minor thus committed an offence punishable under section 337-A (i) (punishment of shajjah) of PPC. The injuries include burn wounds on right arm, right wrist and right hand on left mid arm over deltoid area, dorsum of left index finger extended upto MP joint of left hand, left little finger and left lower arm, right thigh and right buttock, the third charge read, to the minor making it punishable under section 337-F (i) of PPC.
Besides, the land lady also threatened the minor not to disclose her maltreatment to anyone thus committed an offence punishable under section 506(ii) (Punishment for criminal intimidation) of PPC. Both Khan and Zafar, the fifth charge says, “willfully assaulted, ill-treated, neglected, abandoned, harmed and injured minor” and this all is punishable under section 328-A of PPC.

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