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Thursday, February 15, 2024

SC orders arrest of the accused in Khadija stabbing case

News Desk |

The Supreme Court on Wednesday has ordered the arrest of Shah Hussain in the Khadija stabbing case. The SC took up the appeal of Khadija Siddiqui ─ a law student who was stabbed 23 times in Lahore in 2016 ─ against the acquittal last year of her alleged attacker and fellow student, Shah Hussain.

A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Asif Saeed Khosa heard the case and termed the Lahore High Court’s (LHC) decision to acquit Hussain null and void. During the hearing, Justice Khosa remarked, “why was the accused [Shah Hussain] nominated after five days of the incident despite the fact that Khadija knew the culprit well as he was her class fellow.”

A Lahore judicial magistrate sentenced seven-year rigorous imprisonment to Hussain after finding him guilty of attempted murder on July 29, 2017.

In response, her counsel said she was not conscious after being assaulted. “Shah Hussain only attacked and the driver remained unharmed during the incident,” the lawyer added. CJP inquired that if Khadija’s sister was in a conscious state during the entire scene then why the identification process took time.

The prosecution lawyer contended before the court that according to doctors, Khadija was in a critical condition and the investigation officer could not record her statement. The chief justice further questioned, “How deep are Khadija’s wounds?” Her counsel apprised the court that 12 wounds were two centimeters deep.

Justice Khosa expressed dismay over investigation officer for not collecting evidence from the crime scene, “The investigation officer said that he saw blood in the car is not enough. Bloodstained car mats or seats were not produced as evidence.”

Read more: New CJP to hear Khadija stabbing case on 23rd Jan

Khadija’s counsel further informed the court that the driver lodged a first information report (FIR) against the accused but did not name him. To which CJP Khosa said, “The driver knew the accused but did not name him. How is it possible that the driver did not know his name when Khadija and Shah Hussain used to meet daily?”

The chief justice then remarked, “Why did the accused opt for a bail before arrest when his name was not included in the FIR?” He added, “The driver named Hussain as the culprit after Khadija’s statement.” “Two hair [samples] were found in the car; where they sent for forensic testing?” the chief justice asked. Siddiqui’s lawyer said while directions were given to send the hair for forensic testing, representatives of the lab, when asked, said that the samples never reached them. Announcing the LHC verdict null and void, SC ordered the arrest of Hussain. Subsequently, he was taken into custody from the courtroom.

Case History

Siddiqi, 24, was stabbed more than two dozen times on a busy Lahore Street while she was picking her six-year-old sister Sofia Siddiqui from school on May 3, 2016. She was attacked by her class fellow Shah Hussain for allegedly rejecting a proposal. A Lahore judicial magistrate sentenced seven-year rigorous imprisonment to Hussain after finding him guilty of attempted murder on July 29, 2017.

Read more: Justice for Khadija: A test for the law, the judge and…

However, a sessions court in March 2018 set aside the minor penalties of the convict and commuted the sentenced to five years. Last year, the Lahore High Court acquitted the convict on lack of evidence. Justice Saqib had taken the Suo Moto notice of acquittal of Hussain.