ISLAMABAD - The Islamabad High Court on Tuesday awarded one year imprisonment to suspended additional district and sessions judge Raja Khurram Ali Khan and his wife Maheen Zafar in Tayyaba torture case.

A single bench of the IHC comprising Justice Aamer Farooq announced the verdict, which he had reserved on March 27 after hearing arguments of both sides.

Besides one-year imprisonment, the court also imposed Rs50,000 fine on each of them.In this case, both were accused that they had employed Tayyaba Bibi, aged less than 10 years at the relevant time as a maid servant in the house and used to hit her because of which, she sustained injuries and also at the relevant time closed her quarter and used to lock her in a store near the water tank.

They were also charged that they wrongly confined Tayyaba Bibi and she was recovered by the police from their house, therefore, they had committed an offence under Section 342 PPC.

In this connection, the IHC bench noted in its verdict that admittedly, the victim was working as a maid servant at the residence of Raja Khurram Ali Khan and Maheen Zafar, however, the prosecution has not produced any evidence, which goes on to show that she was wrongly confined at the residence of the said persons.

The judgment said, “Under Section 328-A PPC, whoever wilfully assaults, ill-treats, neglects, abandons or does an act of omission or commission, that results in or has, potential to harm or injure the child by causing physical or psychological injury to him shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term, which shall not be less than one year and may extend up to three years, or with fine which shall not be less than 25,000 rupees and may extend up to 50,000 rupees, or with both.”

According to the verdict, “The evidence mentioned above as tendered by the parties clearly shows that the accused persons neglected and/or wilfully harmed and abandoned Mst Tayyaba Bibi, which resulted in harm to her or had the potential of causing harm hence have committed the offence as charged and the prosecution has proved the same beyond shadow of doubt. Both the accused have admitted that Tayyaba was working as maid at their house thus was in their care.”

“Raja Khurram Ali Khan being the head of the family and Mst Maheen Zafar being responsible for the daily domestic affairs were jointly responsible for looking after and taking care of the child i.e. Tayyaba Bibi. The version of the accused that the media hype was created about the incident and hence the FIR, is inconsequential in as much as the media hype has no bearing on the facts leading to the commission of the offence,” it said.

Justice Aamer Farooq noted in his judgment that in view of above, the prosecution has been able to prove the charge under Section 328-A PPC, hence the accused persons Mst Maheen Zafar and Raja Khurram Ali Khan both are jointly responsible for it and are accordingly convicted.

They are acquitted of other charges.

He wrote that Raja Khurram Ali Khan and Mst Maheen Zafar were punished with imprisonment of one year simple imprisonment with fine of rupees 50,000/- each and in default to serve one month imprisonment.

The accused shall have the benefit of Section 382-B CrPC. The accused are on bail hence shall be arrested immediately to serve the sentence, the judgement read.

Later, the accused couple filed a bail plea before the same bench.

The court granted them bail and ruled that the bail will be valid for seven days. 

In his bail petition, the accused judge adopted that he would challenge the sentence before the Supreme Court and thus deserves bail, which in any case is liable when the punishment is only a year.