- CJP reprimands convict’s father for ‘campaigning against apex court’
LAHORE: Supreme Court judge Justice Asif Saeed Khosa will hear the appeal against Lahore High Court’s (LHC) acquittal of a man earlier convicted for brutally attacking law student Khadija Siddiqui with a knife.
A two-member bench comprising Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar and Justice Ijazul Ahsan began hearing the Khadija Siddiqui stabbing case at Supreme Court’s Lahore Registry on Sunday after taking notice of a single-bench verdict by Justice Sardar Ahmed Naeem which acquitted Shah Hussain of all charges and accepted his appeal against the seven-year sentence handed to him by a sessions court.
Siddiqui’s lawyer Salman Safdar told the bench that they had already filed an appeal against the acquittal.
During the hearing, the chief justice expressed annoyance at Lahore High Court Bar Association’s undermining of SC by passing a resolution against the notice. “How did LHCBA pass a resolution against the apex court?” asked Justice Nisar.
The top judge questioned the convict’s father Tanvir Hashmi, a prominent lawyer, how he managed to campaign against the SC. “Would you have done the same if a lawyer’s daughter had been attacked?”
Stressing that the apex court could see bar association politics at play, Justice Nisar remarked that the ploy will be unsuccessful.
Meanwhile, Khadija recalled the character assassination she had to endure during the court proceedings and asked SC to provide justice.
Speaking to the media after the hearing, Khadija thanked all those who rallied behind her.
“The CJP has taken notice and I am confident that justice will be done,” she said while speaking to journalists outside the court along with her counsels.
Accused Shah Hussain told reporters outside the court that it was his right to file an appeal against the sessions court verdict and added that the case against him was now closed after the acquittal.
The prosecution failed to me prove a convict, he maintained. “I was not allowed to speak in my defence and if they have any evidence against me then they should present it in court.”
Hussain was convicted last year for attacking then 23-year-old law student Khadija with a knife in Lahore. His seven-year sentence by a judicial magistrate had been commuted to a two-year sentence by a trial court in March this year.
He was acquitted by the LHC on June 4, with Justice Sardar Ahmad Naeem in his detailed judgement stating: “The injured witness ordinarily is not disbelieved but the circumstances of this case forced me to disbelieve the injured prosecution witness.”
The CJP had summoned the case’s record on Tuesday, a day after LHC acquitted Shah Hussain of all charges.
The LHC verdict in the case had shocked the nation that had supported the law student’s fight for justice after being stabbed 23 times.
After the verdict which gives the attacker a clean chit, Khadija had announced that she would challenge it in the top court.