SC summons judge, wife in torture case
ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Pakistan Saqib Nisar on Thursday summoned an Islamabad additional district and sessions judge (ADSJ) and the records of the case of a child employed as a maid and allegedly abused by the judge and his wife.
The Supreme Court summoned ADSJ Raja Khurram Ali Khan his wife Maheen Zafar along with the deputy inspector general and the senior superintendent of police as well as the relevant records and directed to ensure the victim and her parents and relatives are present before the court on Friday.
Justice Nisar took suo motu notice of the case on Wednesday, after the ADSJ and the victim’s parents reached a settlement in the case.
A petition was also filed with the SC on Thursday that highlighted the “over-efficiency” of the district judicial officers in Islamabad in the case and the matter “in which entire criminal proceedings were hushed up.”
The petition was filed by human rights activists Noor Ejaz Chaudhry, Syeda Namra Gillani, Zohra Yusuf, Tahira Abdullah, Zoya Rehman and Bushra Gohar through their counsel Asma Jahangir asking for Tayyaba, the child maid, to be produced before the SC.
The petition requested action against the ADSJ if the case against him was proven for employing a juvenile and then abetting her torture and abuse.
It reads: “The case of child Tayyaba is only one of the few cases that have surfaced in the past of domestic child abuse and that the issue is one of the public importance as internal trafficking of children, who belong to the poorest section of society, has exposed such children to extreme maltreatment abuse and torture.”
The petition stated that information related to Tayyaba’s abuse appeared on the social media on Dec 28 but an FIR was not registered the same day because of the police’s lethargic attitude.
The police lodged the FIR on Dec 29 on the persistence of the Ministry of Human Rights and raided the ADSJ’s house where they recovered Tayyaba and produced her before an assistant commissioner, before whom Tayyaba stated that she was tortured by the ADSJ and his wife.
On Jan 3, ADSJ Raja Asif Mehmood granted Ms Zafar pre-arrest bail, and ADSJ Atta Rabbani ordered for Tayyaba to be recovered from so-called illegal detention at the Benazir Bhutto Women Crisis Centre.
The centre received the order at 3:30pm, and argued that the child was not being illegally detained.
However, ADSJ Rabbani threatened the crisis centre’s law officer, saying an FIR would be lodged against the centre’s employees if the child is not produced before him.
After she was produced before the court, the petition claimed that Tayyaba was handed over to her parents within a “few minutes” and they were sent “through the backdoor.”
The petition said this was done after a settlement document between Tayyaba’s parents and the ADSJ and his wife was produced.
It said the victim was taken to the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences, where the administration did not bother to examine her.
The petition alleged that ADSJ Rabbani recovered and handed Tayyaba over to her parents without a proper investigation, which was “illegal and smacked of mala fide intentions.”
It added: “It is very clear that influence had been used in this case to cover up a crime or to brush aside an incident that may or may not have occurred.”