Islamabad-The Islamabad High Court Friday announced to continue the trial of Tayyaba torture case, a maid who was allegedly beaten by the family of a local court judge.

It was March 8 when the Supreme Court of Pakistan had halted the trial of Tayyaba torture case and directed the IHC to consider transferring the case from Judicial Magistrate Islamabad Syed Haider Ali Shah to either another subordinate trial court or to consider assuming its own jurisdiction.

On Friday, a single bench of IHC comprising Justice Aamer Farooq announced the decision regarding trial jurisdiction in this matter and decided to hold the trial of Additional District & Sessions Judge (ADSJ) Raja Khurram Ali Khan and his wife Maheen Zafar at IHC.

The three-member bench of Supreme Court bench headed by the Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Mian Saqib Nisar had said in its order, “Keeping in view of background of the case which is already public, we while examining the jurisdiction under Article 184(3) of the Constitution to do complete justice, direct IHC to consider whether the pending case should be transferred to its own jurisdiction under Section 526 Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC).”

In its verdict, the IHC bench turned down an application of the Civil Society represented by Asma Jehangir Advocate that had also been demanding relocation of the trial.

Asma Jahangir had sought the transfer of the case under section 526(3) of Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC). 

According to Jahangir, the high court has the authority to transfer the matter from one trial court to another or decide the matter itself. The bench rejected this application saying that the petitioner is not directly aggrieved person in this matter.

While deciding trail jurisdiction, Justice Aamer observed in his verdict that the case has been shifted to ensure transparency in this matter. During proceedings of this matter on the last date of hearing, counsels for the judge and his wife, Raja Rizwan Abbasi and Sardar Taimur Aslam advocates had opposed the transfer of trial saying it would affect right of appeal of the suspect.

The 10-year-old Tayyaba was working as a maid in the house of a serving Additional District and Sessions Judge (ADSJ) Raja Khurram Ali Khan and is said to have been tortured by him and his wife, Maheen Zafar.

Therefore, Raja Khurram and his wife have been facing charges of keeping a child as a maid in illegal confinement and torturing her. The police registered a case against ADSJ and his wife under various sections of the Pakistan Penal Code including section 337 for injuring, 342 for illegal confinement and 506 for intimidation.

The Supreme Court had also taken suo moto notice of the matter after reports of it surfaced on social media. A compromise was later reached between the ADSJ and the minor girl’s family.

However, the apex court had ordered on March 8 that proceedings be halted in the Tayyaba torture case, telling IHC to decide about the relocation of the case.

Tayyaba, who was allegedly tortured by the accused persons, was rescued from their house in Islamabad with visible wounds on Dec 28, 2016.

A First information report was registered against them on Dec 29, 2016.