Tayyaba, a ten-year-old house assistant, captured the public and media’s attention in December 2016. Her story reveals the ugly face of our society and its legal system. The brutal treatment of her by her employees, additional district and sessions judge (ADSJ) Raja Khurram Ali Khan and his wife Maheen Zafar, shows the smug sense of entitlement among the elite class of this country; it can get away with anything it does. Furthermore, the time that the court took to decide a clear but brutal incident of violence also exposes the governance system in general and legal system in particular that how incompetent they are when protection of an ordinary citizen is in question.

As if that was not enough to shame the system, that Islamabad High Court has granted the couple bail shortly after sentencing them to one year in prison over mistreating and physically abusing Tayyaba. The ruling given in this regard is utterly shameful that holds prosecution responsible for being unable to prove the charges on the couple.

We live in a society where a broken limb or bruised body part cannot convince the legal system if the complainant fails to lodge a proper complaint if the FIR does not bear his/her signatures. The court sees such a complaint a flawed document. What else can one say but that such a system is flawed where a person can get away with the help of loopholes that are ever-present in the legal system?

The verdict is rightly one of the worst judgments given in the history of our legal system. The judgement is not short of a confluence of judiciary and lawyers –who flooded the courtroom to exert pressure– to get a favourable verdict for one of their own. The congregation of lawyers who were there to demand bail for the couple is a disgrace to the profession. The Chief Justice of Pakistan who takes ‘suo moto’ notice of every tiny matter needs to take notice of his own fraternity.