A three-member bench led by Chief Justice Saqib Nisar of the Supreme Court resumed hearing the Tayyaba torture case on Wednesday. The Chief Justice in his remarks said there was no doubt that a criminal offence had been committed and asked: “how we can stop this evil practice in the society.”
Islamabad DIG Kashif Alam, SSP operation Sajid Kiani, Tayyaba’s father and Nusrat Bibi were also present in the court, while Sweet Homes patron-in-chief Zamrud Khan appeared before the court on the behalf of Tayyaba.
Justice Umar Ata Bandial remarked that this case involved child labour, child abuse and the role of parents.
During the hearing, police, while submitting the inquiry report, asked for three to four more days to complete the investigation, adding that the DNA report will take time.
The court granted 10 more days to the police for investigation.
DIG informed the court that a final medical report could not be prepared, as DNA report was being waited.
Chief Justice remarked that challan should be submitted, and the trial should begin the case. “An innocent girl was forced to work by her parents. Does it not count as bonded labour?” the CJ asked.
CJ remarked that the court needed the cooperation of bar and human rights organisations. “How the accused Maheen Zafar got bail,” CJ asked.
Raja Khurram’s lawyer presented bail documents for Maheen. To which the CJ remarked, “This is great! Beat up a child and then say it is a ‘bailable offence’.”
Additional sessions judge Raja Khurram Ali Khan was also present in the Supreme Court; however, his wife Maheen did not appear. Azam—who claims to be Tayyaba’s father—was also present in the court.
Human Rights lawyer Justice (r) Tariq Mehmood said that child labour laws had not been revised. “If someone other than his parents forces him to work, the penalty is only Rs200.”
An inquiry report prepared by the Islamabad police found additional sessions judge Raja Khurram Ali Khan’s wife Maheen responsible for torturing Tayyaba, and her husband of criminal negligence. The report will be presented as evidence in the Supreme Court.
According to sources, the report prepared by DIG Operations Kashif Alam raises questions over the integrity of Raja Khurram. “Why did he keep a minor as a servant in his house? How could he be unaware about torture committed on the child?”
Islamabad advocate general informed the court that documents regarding accused’s bail have been placed before the court. Advocate Tariq informed the court that bill regarding child torture in 2014 was moved but could not be implemented.
The hearing has been adjourned until January 25.