Tayyaba Torture Case: Defence Lawyer Claims Before Supreme Court that the Bruises on Victim’s Body were Accidental
The defence lawyer on Monday claimed that the bruises on the body of Tayyaba –a domestic worker – were accidental, as the Supreme Court was hearing the appeals filed by the jailed judge and his wife.
Additional District and Sessions judge Raja Khurram Ali Khan and his wife Maheen Zafar had been sentenced to one year in jail in April 2018 for keeping the then 10-year-old Tayyaba in wrongful confinement, burning her hand over a missing broom, beating her with a ladle, detaining her in a storeroom, and threatening her of “dire consequences”.
Although Raja had reached a compromise with Tayyaba’s parents on Jan 2, 2017, the apex court took suo motu notice of the matter two days later with the strict warning that “no ‘agreements’ can be reached in matters concerning fundamental human rights.”
In June 2018, when both convicts appealed against the sentence, the court increased their jail time from one year to three years, with an Rs 500,000 fine.
As a three-member bench headed by Justice Mushir Alam heard the case on Monday, the convicts’ lawyer said that Tayyaba had admitted that she was not abused. He said that Tayyaba’s bruises were “accidental” and that she had given a statement in court during her cross-examination which she had “memorised like a parrot”.
Justice Ijazul Ahsan wondered what the lawyer expected of a 10-year-old being cross-examined in court.
The judge asked the lawyer if he had seen the photos of Tayyaba that had sparked interest in the case and wondered whether he believed that those were also fake, to which the lawyer replied that the picture was not fake, but had been exaggerated and presented.
Justice Yahya Afridi pointed out that Tayyaba had been recovered from the convicted couple’s house.
Following a break in the hearing, the convicts’ lawyer maintained the argument that Tayyaba’s bruises were accidental, to which Justice Afridi replied saying: “You are yourself accepting accidental bruises, this means you did something [wrong].”
“Sometimes you bring in Bahria Town, sometimes you bring the magistrate into this,” Justice Ahsan remarked, adding: “Is the whole world against you?”
The legal counsel for the convicts recorded his arguments after which the case was adjourned until tomorrow (Tuesday), when the arguments of the complainant will be heard.