No Justice For Khadija: Will The Outcome Of The Case Determine People’s Faith In Pakistan’s Judicial Structure?

Will court’s verdict in one of the most followed and high-profile cases in Pakistan’s modern history tremble the faith of people in the institutions once again?

23-times stabbing his classmate and still ‘proven guilty’ because of lack of evidence – Khadija Siddiqi’s case has further risen the already lifted concerns of people. The detailed judgment that lead to the freedom of the accused Hussain Shah implied that the prosecution had failed to prove guilt beyond reasonable doubt.
The judge Justice Sardar Ahmed Naeem overturned the earlier conviction of Hussain as he was ‘’ forced to disbelieve the injured prosecution witnesses”.
He also conceded that it was not an ordinary stance to take as the “injured witness is not normally disbelieved”.

Justice Sardar Ahmad dismissed the notion that it was a ‘high-profile’ case and said there was no external pressure except Tahmina Durrani, who used her influence and manipulated the case at the later stage. The verdict reads that the injured eyewitness failed to narrate the entire tale; and that the attack ‘’ may have taken place, but not in the manner as described by the eye/injured witnesses”.

He said that Khadija was in her senses after the attack and she didn’t name the accused – instead, she said that a ‘boy’ attacked her.
“Evidence of eye/injured witnesses, thus, could not be relied upon with any amount of confidence” – he stated.
Hence, the judgment blamed the ‘several contradictions’ in the case for the acquittal and declared it is based on ‘facts’

Also See: Will court’s verdict in one of the most followed and high-profile cases in Pakistan’s modern history tremble the faith of people in the institutions once again?

The judgment also included certain aspects that were perceived to be an attempt to character assassinate and discredit the victim.

Khadija later was asked on a TV show to confirm the earlier made claim that she was asked by a session judge whether she would be open to compromise. She said that rigorous efforts were made to pressurize her as her attacker was son of an influential lawyer.

After her claims, Lahore High Court ordered media to ‘apologize’ for airing Khadija’s accusations about judge’s bias.
“She has further speculated that the honourable judge might have been persuaded by the Governor Punjab [Malik Rafiq Rajwana] to pass the judgement of acquittal in favour of the petitioner/convict.” – Registrar added.

The LHC registrar further stated that the news based on Khadija’s claims is “squarely concocted, frivolous and are being aired/published in electronic/social and print media with a malicious attempt to malign the judiciary as an institution”.

Khadija later went on clarifying her stance. Here is what she had to say:

However, it all comes down to this: whether the existing discrepancies, influencing the case or gross manipulation of facts – will the role of courts, whether miscommunicated or misunderstood, in this particular case take us back to square one? Have people again lost that briefly established trust in the institution that was recently regained?

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