SC upholds prison term of Khadija Siddiqui’s assailant

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The Supreme Court (SC) of Pakistan on Thursday dismissed a petition seeking review of its ruling in the Khadija Siddiqui case.

A three-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, upheld five-year term handed down to convict Shah Hussain.

The appellant, Shah Hussain, moved the petition requesting the top court to review its Jan 23 decision of ordering his arrest and upholding his conviction in the case. CJP Khosa observed there is a difference between a murder case and that of attempted murder.

He held an injury inflicted on anybody with intent to murder him/her will be treated as attempted murder.

On Jan 23, the top court, accepting the plea of Khadija Siddiqui, ordered police to arrest Shah Hussain and sent him to prison from the courtroom.

Siddiqui was stabbed more than two dozen times on a busy Lahore street while she was picking her six-year-old sister Sofia Siddiqui from school on May 3, 2016.

She was attacked by her class fellow Hussain for reportedly rejecting a proposal.

A Lahore judicial magistrate had handed down seven-year rigorous imprisonment to Hussain after finding him guilty of attempted murder on July 29, 2017.

However, a sessions court in March 2018 set aside the minor penalties of the convict and commuted the sentenced to five years.

Last year, the Lahore High Court acquitted the convict on lack of evidence.

The matter landed in the top court when then chief justice Mian Saqib Nisar took a suo motu notice of the acquittal in June 2018.