ISLAMABAD: A police investigation has determined that a serving judge and his spouse are suspects in the abuse of a child domestic employee, but has not answered how the suspect allegedly reached a settlement with the parents of the victim.
A seven page final progress report, submitted by the deputy inspector general (DIG) of the capital police said in its concluding paragraph that a complete list of charges has been submitted before the trial court against Maheen Zafar, the wife of additional district and sessions judge (ADSJ) Raja Khurram Ali Khan, under various sections of the PPC, while the final charges against ADSJ Khan will be submitted to the court on Jan 26.
Information regarding the alleged abuse and torture of Tayyaba, a 10-year-old employed as a maid in the home of the ADSJ spread on social media on Dec 28, 2016. The police registered a case against Ms Zafar on Dec 29, and the chief justice of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) ordered an inquiry into the matter the same day.
Investigation report submitted before SC, hearing to resume today
On Jan 2, after the initial inquiry was completed, the ADSJ reached a settlement with Tayyaba’s parents, on the basis of which his wife was granted pre-arrest bail by ADSJ Raja Asif Mehmood the same day. On Jan 3, ADSJ Atta Rabbani handed over custody of the victim to her parents.
A medico-legal officer from the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (Pims) had also initially said that Tayyaba was injured after falling down the stairs, but after the chief justice of Pakistan (CJP) took suo motu notice of the alleged torture and subsequent settlement on Jan 4, doctors from Pims said Tayyaba had 21 marks of trauma on her person and confirmed that she had been tortured.
On Jan 18, during a hearing of the case, CJP Saqib Nisar said the compromise deed signed between ADSJ Khan and Tayyaba’s parents was “unacceptable” because her father was ignorant of the text of the deed.
While testifying before the Supreme Court, Tayyaba’s father said a lawyer, Raja Zahoor Hassan, asked him to put his thumb impression on papers he could not read because he is illiterate.
Since Jan 5, Justice Nisar has noted in several hearings that the aforementioned lawyer, Mr Hassan, who materialised the settlement, played an important role, and that the judicial proceedings to grant bail on the basis of the alleged settlement and the subsequent handing over of custody of the victim to her parents was done without proper verification.
This was also highlighted in a petition filed by rights activists.
However, the police investigation has remained silent over this aspect, and has focused instead on witness statements and medical and forensic reports.
According to the investigation report: “[The] investigation team has conducted a thorough and transparent investigation covering all important points from all aspects.”
Witnesses from ADSJ Khan’s neighbourhood said that Tayyaba was living in a simple room at the back of the house.
They said the room did not have a quilt and was easily visible because of the low adjoining walls. They said she was living in miserable conditions, had worn clothes that were very dirty and seemed that she was being kept hungry.
The witnesses confirmed that Tayyaba was beaten by Ms Zafar, who they said also burnt her hand.
DIG Kashif Alam submitted the report before the SC because the chief justice will resume hearing the case on Jan 25.
courtesy : dawn news