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SC orders arrest of Shah Hussain in Khadija Siddique stabbing case

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered the arrest of Shah Hussain in the Khadija stabbing case and upheld the five-year imprisonment sentence awarded to the culprit by a sessions court, reported ARY News.

The victim Khadija Siddique and the accused Shah Hussain appeared before a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Asif Saeed Khosa who termed the Lahore High Court’s (LHC) decision to acquit Hussain null and void.

During the hearing, Justice Khosa remarked, “why was the accused nominated after five days of the incident despite the fact that Khadija knew the culprit well as he was her class fellow.”

In response, her counsel said she was not conscious after being assaulted. “Shah Hussain only attacked Khadija on purpose as the driver remained unharmed during the incident,” the lawyer added.

The top judge added that if Khadija’s sister was in a conscious state during the entire scene then why did the identification process take 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.

“It is certain that Khadija was speaking at the hospital and she did inform doctors that the assailant was a boy,” the CJP replied. “There was no wound on her neck’s other side.”

Khadija’s sister was in a conscious state during the entire scene. “Then why the identification process of the culprit was overdue?”

The chief justice further questioned, “how deep are Khadija’s wounds?”, to which her counsel replied saying, “12 wounds were two centimeters deep.”

Khadija’s counsel also relayed to the court that doctors said she was in a critical condition.

“Khadija was speaking in the hospital is a fact,” the CJP added. “The surgeon kicked the doctors out of the room when they started questioning Khadija. She had told the doctors that the attacker was a boy.”

Justice Khosa expressed suspicion over why no bloodstained object was presented from the car. “The investigation officer saying that he saw blood in the car is not enough. Bloodstained car mats or seats were not produced as evidence.”

Expressing dismay, the CJP blamed the investigation officer for not collecting evidence from the crime scene properly.

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?”

Justice Khosa expressed suspicion over why no bloodstained object was presented from the car.

The chief justice then remarked that, “Why did the accused opt for a bail before arrest when his name was not included in the FIR?”

He added that, “the driver named Hussain as the culprit after Khadija’s statement.” Justice Khosa also went on to question about the DNA test of the hair found in Khadija’s car. To which Khadija’s lawyer replied saying, “The hair were sent to a forensic lab but according to them, they did not receive anything.”

Background

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  Hussain for reportedly rejecting a proposal. A Lahore judicial magistrate handed down seven-year rigorous imprisonment to Hussain after finding him guilty of attempted murder on July 29, 2017.

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.

Former chief justice Mian Saqib Nisar had taken a suo motu notice of the acquittal in June 2018 and forwarded the appeal to another two-member SC bench led by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa.

Enraged at the then chief justice’s taking cognizance of the matter,  the accused’s father, an influential lawyer, had moved a resolution to the Lahore High Court Bar Association, demanding that the country’s top court make rules on suo motu powers.

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