Maid torture case: Post-arrest bail of judge’s wife rejected

Khalid Iqbal
Friday, Aug 11, 2023

ISLAMABAD: Judicial Magistrate Shaista Kundi rejected the post-arrest bail application of Somia Asim in the minor maid torture case. The court announced the reserved verdict on Thursday.

Defence lawyer Qazi Dastgir and plaintiff’s lawyer Faisal Jatt appeared in the court while prosecutor Waqas and parents of the victim were also present.

Judge Shaista Kundi and Somia’s lawyer exchanged harsh words during the hearing.

The case surfaced late last month when the victim’s parents shifted her to a hospital in Lahore with serious injuries, alleging the judge’s wife had tortured the girl.

During the proceedings, the civil judge’s wife was produced before the judge wherein her lawyer Qazi Dastgir informed the court the date of the incident was not mentioned in the first information report (FIR).

The lawyer said according to CCTV footage, the girl was handed over to her mother by his client, adding that some videos showed that the girl sat on a bench at a bus station and laid down like a healthy person. He argued that a story had been concocted against his client Somia.

On the judge’s inquiry, the video of the bus station was played in the courtroom.

The CCTV footage of the private bus stand was shown in the courtroom while the prosecution said the two-and-a-half minutes long video had been sent for forensic audit. The judge asked the girl’s mother to tell the truth about what had happened at the bus station. She asked the girl’s mother, “Does your child wear a scarf?”

The girl’s mother replied, “No, my daughter does not wear a scarf, the purpose of hiding the face was to hide the wound.”

The judge asked the girl’s mother, “What happened in the car? Did you sit in the car for 10 minutes?”

Replying in affirmative, the girl’s mother said she sat in the car and asked about her work performance. She was told the child does not work. “I asked the girl why she does not work, but she remained silent.”

“The driver also threatened that we are powerful people, which scared me,” the mother of the victim said.

Judge Shaista Kundi asked whether the girl was admitted to any school.

The defence lawyer said the girl was 16-year-old, and therefore she was not admitted to any school. A Qari used to come and teach Holy Quran to the girl in the house.

The lawyer claimed that Somia did not subject Rizwana to any kind of torture and handed her over safe and sound to her parents.

The judge asserted that she would bring everything on record and that only justice would prevail in her court.

Lawyer Dastgir prayed that the girl was not employed by his client.

At this, the judge said that two days ago, Somia said she had paid money to the girl.

After the reserved verdict was announced, judge Ms Kundi and Somia’s lawyer exchanged harsh words.

On August 7, in a relief to the parents of the 14-year-old torture victim, the civil judge’s wife was arrested after the court cancelled her bail in the case. Civil Judge Asim Hafeez’s wife, Somia Asim, had acquired interim bail to avoid arrest on the allegations of beating and torturing the minor girl, employed as a domestic help at their house.