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Pak HC suspends sentence given to judge, wife for torturing 10-year-old domestic worker

A Pakistani high court has suspended the one-year sentence given to a judge and his wife for torturing a 10-year-old girl child working as a domestic help, a case that had attracted widespread attention in the country.

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Pak HC suspends sentence given to judge, wife for torturing 10-year-old domestic worker
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A Pakistani high court has suspended the one-year sentence given to a judge and his wife for torturing a 10-year-old girl child working as a domestic help, a case that had attracted widespread attention in the country.

The Islamabad High Court had last week sentenced additional district and sessions judge Raja Khurram Ali Khan and his wife Maheen to one year each in prison and ordered them to pay a fine of Rs 50,000 each, Dawn News reported.

They had kept the then 10-year-old child maid in wrongful confinement, burning her hand over a missing broom, beating her with a ladle, detaining her in a storeroom, and threatening her of "dire consequences".

Following the sentencing, the court approved their bail applications against surety bonds of Rs 50,000. The convicts were given seven days to appeal against the verdict.
Khurram and Maheen challenged the sentences before a two-judge division bench, the report said.

The bench subsequently suspended the sentences and adjourned the case until the second week of May.

The case of the young domestic worker at the home of Khan and his wife Maheen, first came to light after photos of the tortured child began circulating on social media, it said.

The girl was rescued from their residence with visible wounds on December 28, 2016 and a first information report was filed against her employers a day later.

Khan reached a compromise with the girl's parents on Jan 2, 2017, and a day later the child was handed over to her parents.

On January 4, however, the apex court took suo motu notice of the matter, saying: "No 'agreements' can be reached in matters concerning fundamental human rights." The Supreme Court in a hearing on January 11 then observed that the role of a lawyer, Raja Zahoor Hassan, was of key interest with regards to an 'illegitimate compromise' reached between the suspects and the child's family.

Chief Justce of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar had insisted there was no doubt that a criminal act had been committed in the case and directed police to investigate the preparation of the compromise deed as well as matters related to internal trafficking of child labourers.

After the police in their report had focused only on the child's abuse and the possible involvement of the suspects, the SC expressed displeasure with the investigation of the case and referred it back to the IHC for further deliberation. 

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