Couple granted interim bail in maid’s murder case
The additional district and sessions judge (South) confirmed the bail pleas of Hassan Mazhar and his wife, Nighat Bibi, charged with torturing and murdering their teenage housemaid.
The two are alleged to have killed their 17-year-old maid, Fatima, whose body was found at their bungalow located in the Defence area on September 16.
The couple had obtained protective bail, and on Monday the district and sessions court granted them interim bail for Rs300,000 each.
Fatima’s family members lodged a strong protest, which led to the registration of a case against the couple.
On September 19, a medical board of the Dr Ruth Pfau Civil Hospital Karachi (CHK) declared that Fatima, found hanging from a ceiling fan in her employer’s residence on Khayaban-e-Badban, Phase V, DHA, was strangled to death after being tortured.
The body of Fatima, daughter of Abdul Haq, was taken to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre by Gizri police. A medico-legal officer at the JPMC, Dr Noorun Nisa, ruled the death a suicide.
However, following a protest by Fatima’s family outside the Gizri police station, a separate medical board was formed at the CHK to probe the cause of her death.
Speaking to The News, CHK Additional Police Surgeon Dr Qarar Ahmed Abbasi said the four-member medical board, including Jinnah Sindh Medical University professor Farhat Mirza, CHK senior MLO Dr Sumayya Syed and police surgeon Ijaz Khokhar, performed an autopsy and found that the girl had been murdered.
Dr Abbasi added that the result of the autopsy suggested that the teenager was subjected to torture before being strangulated to death. DNA samples to ascertain whether the victim had been sexually assaulted had also been collected.
Sharing the medical board’s findings, Dr Abbasi said the victim’s neck bore ligature marks. “The direction of ligature marks in a homicide and a suicide is always different,” said the surgeon. Besides, the doctors also found injuries to the girl’s lower lip, chin and chest.
Initially, SHO Gizri police station, Abdul Lateef, had informed The News that Fatima had committed suicide and justified his statement by citing the JPMC’s medico-legal examiner. SHO Lateef had claimed that Fatima’s father did not level any accusation against her daughter’s employers but had himself suspected that Fatima had committed suicide.