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CJP lashes out at LHCBA for resolution against suo motu in Khadija stabbing case

Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar on Sunday expressed anger over a Lahore High Court Bar Association (LHCBA) resolution which regretted that the top judge had taken suo motu notice of the acquittal of the accused in the Khadija Siddiqui stabbing case.

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A two-judge bench headed by the CJP was hearing the suo motu case at the Lahore registry against the acquittal of Shah Hussain, the accused in the case, who was convicted last year for brutally attacked then 23-year-old law student Khadija with a knife in Lahore.

Hussain, the son of Advocate Tanveer Hashmi, whose seven-year sentence by a judicial magistrate had been commuted to a two-year sentence by a trial court in March this year, was acquitted by the LHC last week, with judge Justice Sardar Ahmad Naeem in his detailed judgement stating: “The injured witness ordinarily is not disbelieved but the circumstances of this case forced me to disbelieve the injured prosecution witness.”

Subsequently, Justice Nisar summoned the case record at the apex court’s Lahore registry, where he today took exception to the unanimous LHCBA resolution ─ passed by Advocate Tanveer Hashmi ─ which stated that since Khadija had the option of approaching the Supreme Court against the LHC ruling, there was no need for the CJP to have taken notice of the matter based on “propaganda” in social media and electronic media.

The resolution said that all the suo motu notices taken by the SC would be deemed unconstitutional if violation of fundamental rights was not found in them and demanded that a full bench of the SC should devise rules on suo motu powers.

“How did you pass a resolution against the Supreme Court?” the chief justice asked the father of the accused Shah Hussain, Advocate Hashmi. “How did you run a campaign against the court?”

“If this had happened with some lawyer’s daughter, would you have behaved the same way?” he asked.

Khadija Siddiqui, who appeared before the Lahore registry today, stated on the rostrum that her character had been assassinated and asked that justice be served.

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