Tayyaba torture case: Court increases convicts’ sentence to three years

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Staff report
ISLAMABAD

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday increased the sentence of the former judge and his wife in Tayyaba torture case to a term of three year in an appeal filed by the accused.
A divisional-bench of IHC comprising of Justice Athar Minallah and Justice Miangul Aurangzeb announced the judgment on appeal of former additional district and sessions judge Khurram Ali and his wife Maheen Zafar challenging the one-year imprisonment before the bench.
The bench dismissed the appeals of the suspended judge and his wife, and increased their sentences to three years each. The court also imposed a fine of Rs 0.5 million on the convicts.
The bench issued a 46-page judgement on the case. The judgement read that “Keeping in view the above principles and law and the facts and circumstances of the instant case, we are satisfied that there is no mitigating factor which will call for handing down the lesser sentence. The appellants are not worthy of any sympathy because the ill treatment and neglect was wilful and cannot be justified on any ground whatsoever. They were aware and they deliberately and consciously made an innocent and helpless child to suffer tremendously.”
It further stated, “While parting we cannot restrain ourselves from recording our observations regarding the failure of the criminal justice system in protecting the most weak and vulnerable members of the society.”
The order said that the in charge of the relevant police station, namely Khalid Awan, did not fulfil his obligations by putting the legal process into motion after he received information regarding Tayyaba’s plight.
The Inspector General of Police, Islamabad Capital Territory is, therefore, expected to probe the role of Khalid Awan, PW16, particularly regarding the making of the video placed on record as Ex DA. The IG is also expected to take urgent and appropriate measures to ensure that professional officers, specially trained to deal with victims who are children, are entrusted with cases relating to them, it said.
The judgement further upheld, “If rule of law is to prevail and the criminal justice system is to be made responsive to the weak and against alleged offences committed by the stronger and privileged segments of the society then even the slightest dereliction of duty by officials inevitably has to be dealt with sternly.”

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