Judge, wife get bail after year's jail-term in Tayyaba torture case

The IHC had reserved judgment on March 27 after final arguments from both sides concluded

Awais Yousafzai
Mona Khan

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) announced its verdict today in the Tayyaba torture case after over a year-long period of proceedings.

IHC Justice Aamer Farooq ruled that suspended Additional District and Sessions Judge Raja Khurram Ali Khan and his wife Maheen Zafar would serve a year each in prison for torturing the child maid under Section 328-A (cruelty to a child). 

The two have also been fined Rs50,000 each for the crime of employing an underage (below 12 years of age) child. However, the accused have been exonerated in the other more serious charges filed against them. 

The accused judge was present in court today when the judgment was read out. 

Following the verdict, the accused filed a bail plea for himself and his wife which was approved by the same bench. The court ruled that the bail will be valid for seven days.  

The accused judge, while filing his bail plea, had pleaded that he will challenge today's sentencing in the Supreme Court and thus deserves bail, which in any case is liable when the punishment is only a year's. 

Judgment reserved 

The judgment of the case was reserved on March 27 after the court heard the final arguments from both the sides.

On December 29, 2016, Tayyaba, a 10-year-old domestic help, was recovered from the house of the judge after receiving complaints of torture from neighbours. The issue sparked outrage on social media and led to calls for strict and swift justice.

Subsequently, a first information report (FIR) was filed against the judge and his wife at the I-9 police station.

An inquiry report by the police had found that the judge's wife was responsible for torturing the child maid, and Khurram of indirect criminal negligence.

Later, on January 3, 2017, Tayyaba's parents reached a compromise and forgave the accused. 

However, Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Mian Saqib Nisar took a suo motu notice of the compromise agreement and ordered the IHC to conduct a trial of the case. 

Following the incident, the IHC had suspended the judge and made him an officer on special duty (OSD).

In total, the statements of 19 witnesses were recorded in the case, wherein 11 were from civil servants and eight from private witnesses, including Tayyaba's parents.