Chief justice takes notice of convict's acquittal in Khadija stabbing case
Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar on Tuesday took notice of the acquittal of a man earlier convicted for brutally attacking law student Khadija Siddiqui with a knife.
Justice Nisar has summoned the case's record at the apex court's Lahore registry on Sunday (June 10), according to a press release issued by the Supreme Court.
The top judge's notice comes a day after Justice Sardar Ahmed Naeem of the LHC, through a short order, acquitted Shah Hussain of all charges after accepting his appeal against the five-year sentence handed to him by a sessions court.
The verdict had shocked the nation that had rallied behind the law student's fight for justice after being stabbed 23 times. Civil society activists, journalists, celebrities and political figures took to social media to express disappointment over Hussain's acquittal.
As netizens posted in support of Khadija and expressed outrage over the court verdict, #JusticeForKhadija became the top trend on Twitter in Pakistan.
Shortly after Monday's verdict, Khadija had told Dawn.com that she would appeal the LHC decision in the Supreme Court.
Appearing on DawnNewsTV on Monday night, she expressed shock and disappointment over the acquittal, saying it was "beyond [her] imagination" that someone could get off scot-free after stabbing her 23 times.
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.
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.