LAHORE: The Lahore High Court on Monday acquitted the son of a senior lawyer convicted for attempting to kill his fellow student by stabbing her several times.

Through a short order, Justice Sardar Ahmad Naeem allowed appeal against the conviction to convict Shah Hussain, son of Advocate Tanvir Hashmi.

A judicial magistrate had on July 29, 2017, sentenced Hussain to seven-year imprisonment under Section 324 (attempted murder) of Pakistan Penal Code (PPC), two years under Section 337A(i) (causing injuries), five years under Section 337A(ii), one year under Section 337F(i), three years under Section 337F(ii) and five years under Section 337F(iv).

However, a district and sessions court in March this year had commuted the rigorous imprisonment awarded by the trial court to Hussain by two years and set aside other minor penalties.

Acquittal to be challenged in SC

Survivor Khadija Siddiqui’s counsel Hassaan Niazi told Dawn that the acquittal would be challenged before the Supreme Court.

The trial court in its decision had noted that despite detailed cross-examination of witnesses, nothing came out in favour of the convict.

It further observed that the convict had stabbed the victim mercilessly as severe injuries on her vital body parts clearly established that the convict stabbed her to kill her.

It ruled that ocular account was fully corroborated by the medical evidence and motive had been proved and even confessed to by the convict.

“I believe that the prosecution has proved its case beyond shadow of even a minor doubt,” the trial court said in its verdict.

Ms Siddiqui, a law student, was attacked by Shah Hussain on May 3, 2016, near Shimla Hill where she, along with her driver, had gone to pick up her younger sister from school. Both the sisters were about to get into their car when a helmet-wearing Hussain attacked Siddiqui with a knife and stabbed her 23 times leaving her critically injured.

Civil Lines police had registered a case against Hussain on charges of attempted murder.

Published in Dawn, June 5th, 2018