Pakistan’s Chief Justice has taken suo motu notice of a shocking incident in which a 10-year-old girl working as a maid was allegedly tortured by her influential employers, a judge and his wife, and sought a detailed report on the case, an official said today.
The tragic case surfaced last week after photos of the maid appeared on social media. In the First Information Report registered with Islamabad police, the girl said she had been working at the house of Additional District and Sessions Judge Raja Khurram Ali Khan for nearly two years.
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But the case yesterday took another twist after father of the girl told a local court that there was no truth about the torture of the girl and that he had reached a private settlement with the judge.
Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar took suo motu notice of the case after reports emerged that the matter was being “hushed up in suspicious manner”. Nisar ordered the registrar at Islamabad High Court to submit a detailed report on the issue of torture within 24 hours, an official of the Supreme Court told PTI.
Dawn reported that a medical board comprising a general surgeon, a plastic surgeon, a burn surgeon and a psychiatrist, was constituted by the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) after the Office of District Magistrate Islamabad issued a letter to the hospital administration, asking it “to re-examine” the wounds of the girl.
The letter had stated that there were wounds on the back side of the victim which “could not be seen in the earlier examination”.
It further stated that the Islamabad police senior superintendent assigned to the case had requested for such a board to be formed so that the investigation could conclude “on merits”.
The initial medical examination report issued by PIMS had stated that the wounds on the girl’s body were from the result of blunt trauma and burns were attributed to an “accidental matchbox”.
The newly formed board has been asked to submit its report in 48 hours. Initially, the girl told police that she was often beaten up in the house. Most recently, she alleged the judge’s wife shoved her hands onto a burning stove and then beat her after a broom went missing.
She alleged that the owners of the house would usually lock her up in a storeroom at night besides starving and beating her up. Police has already questioned the judge’ wife but she was not formally charged. Human Rights Commission of Pakistan has welcomed the suo motu action by the chief justice in the case.