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Saturday, April 20, 2024  
09 Shawwal 1445  

Maid torture case: Islamabad police add ‘cruelty to child’ charge in FIR

Capital police say medical report has not yet been received

The federal capital police have added a “cruelty to child” charge in the complaint against the wife of a civil judge involved in the alleged torture of a 13-year-old maid.

The first information report already contains criminal intimidation and wrongful confinement charges.

Section 328-A of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC), titled “cruelty to a child”, states that “whoever willfully assaults, ill-treats, neglects, abandons or does an act of omission or commission, that results in or has, potential to harm or injure the child by causing physical or psychological injury to him shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which shall not be less than one year and may extend upto three years, or with fine which shall not be less than twenty-five thousand rupees and may extend upto fifty thousand rupees, or with both.”

The last case was registered under sections 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation) and 342 (punishment for wrongful confinement) of the PPC. Police had dropped Section 337 (torture charge) despite the complaint that the judge’s wife tortured his daughter “daily and she had a number of injuries on her body.

On Friday, the Islamabad police recorded the statement of the girl and her father and claimed that they have not yet received the certified medical report.

“All those involved in the crime are being investigated,” they said and added that all action was being taken according to law. “Child labour is a crime under the law,” they said and urged the people to inform them if the crime happened anywhere.

It merits here to mention that the prime accused has obtained bail till August 1.

PM’s aide on youth urges police to improve FIR

PM’s aide on youth affairs Shaza Fatima urged the police to improve the FIR of the case.

“I will ask the police to improve the sections included in the FIR,” she told reporters after a visit to the General Hospital in Lahore where the victim was getting treatment. “The girl’s parents have some reservations related to the FIR and we will try to resolve it and improve the FIR.”

Fatima visited the hospital along with National Commission on Child Rights chairperson Ayesha Raza.

Fatima, with whom the victim’s mother was standing, assured the affected family that the government was standing with them.

“If this has happened with her [victim’s mother] daughter so we have our daughters [who] go for employment and go to second home after marriage. So if we fail today in giving justice to her daughter then maybe we won’t be in a position in future to seek justice for our daughter,” she said.

The SAPM termed the matter “unfortunate” and highlighted that under the Punjab Domestic Workers Act, it was illegal to hire a domestic servant below the age of 15.

She could not fathom the extent of “cruelty” that the girl, in this case, had to bear and said this could not be the work of a person “having a normal mental state”.

Fatima lamented that the suspect in the case has got pre-emptive bail which “should not have happened”. But she mentioned that the justice was blind.

National Commission on Child Rights chairperson Ayesha Raza demanded that whomsoever, without considering how powerful they are, should be brought to justice.

She urged police to add an “attempt to murder” section in the complaint. Raza added that the threat or intimidate section does not apply to the case while looking at the condition of the teenage girl.

“We should together make this a test case,” she said and hoped that justice would prevail.

Complaint by girl’s father

Manga Khan, father of the maid, in his complaint, said that he sent her daughter Rizwana Bibi, 13, to the house of the civil judge at the Zarta Housing Society six months ago to work at a salary of Rs10,000 per month.

“On Sunday, he along with her wife, and brother-in-law came to Islamabad to meet her at the house of the judge and found the girl crying and in deteriorated condition,” it said.

The victim was badly wounded, the complaint said, adding that her ribs were also fractured and marks of injuries were found on her back.

When Khan asked her daughter about the abuser, Rizwana said that she was allegedly tortured by the judge’s wife on a daily basis and the employer also refused to give her food at times. She said she was detained in a room.

But the civil judge has denied such accusations and blamed the girl for injuring her head by herself.

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