Islamabad - The Islamabad High Court Tuesday deferred the hearing in a petition of former additional district and sessions judge Raja Khurram Ali Khan and his wife Maheen Zafar against a single bench’s verdict wherein it had convicted them in Tayyaba torture case.

The division bench (DB) of IHC comprising Justice Athar Minallah and Justice Miagul Hassan Aurangzeb conducted hearing of the petition filed by the suspended judge challenging his conviction by a single bench of IHC and adjourned the hearing after his counsel concluded his argument in this matter.

On behalf of the federation, advocate general Tariq Mahmood would present his arguments in this connection on Wednesday (today).

The petitioners filed the petition through their counsel Raja Rizwan Abbasi Advocate and cited Tayyaba Bibi and state as respondents.

Earlier, a single bench of IHC comprising Justice Aamer Farooq had awarded one year imprisonment to the suspended additional district and sessions judge Raja Khurram Ali Khan and his wife Maheen Zafar in the torture case and also imposed 50,000 rupees fine on each of them.

The suspended judge and his wife adopted in their petition that the impugned judgment is bad in law, not tenable in law, ex-facie based upon whims and caprice.

They stated that the said judgment clearly depicts that evidence/ data available on record was not properly looked into by the learned single judge in the chamber and imposed his own findings which are contrary to law and record.

They contended: “Impugned judgment manifests that it is illegal, oppressive, beyond the domain of section 328-A of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) based upon misreading and non-reading of evidence.”

The petitioners pointed ‘flaws’ in the judgment and the proceedings and have challenged it in accordance with those.

They prayed to the court that their appeal may be accepted and impugned judgment may kindly be set-aside and consequently, appellants may kindly be acquitted in the best interest of justice.

In this case, both of them were accused that they had employed Tayyaba Bibi aged less than 10 years at the relevant time as a maidservant 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 water tank.

According to the said verdict: “The evidence mentioned above as tendered by the parties clearly shows that the accused persons neglected and/ or wilfully harmed and abandoned 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 a maid at their house thus was in their care. Raja Khurram Ali Khan being 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.”

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 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 are 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 Cr.P.C. The accused are on bail hence shall be arrested immediately to serve the sentence.