Monday June 17, 2024

FIR registered against Judge Asim Hafeez's wife for 'torturing' 14-year-old

Islamabad police register case on complaint of victim's father under Sections 506 and Section 342

By Ayaz Akbar Yousafzai
July 25, 2023
Representational image. — AFP/File
Representational image. — AFP/File

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad police on Tuesday registered a case against the wife of Civil Judge Asim Hafeez for the alleged brutal torture of a 14-year-old girl, employed as a domestic help at their house. 

The harrowing case of the suspect nominated in the case allegedly beating up a 14-year-old girl regularly, came to light when the victim was shifted to a hospital in Lahore with serious injuries. 

The case was registered at Police Station Humak on behalf of the girl's father, Manga Khan, under Section 506 (committing offence of criminal intimidation) and Section 342 (wrongfully confining a person) of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC), who accused Judge Asim Hafeez’s wife, Somia, of torturing the child.

As per the text of the First Information Report (FIR), the complainant had sent his 14-year-old daughter to work as a domestic help on a Rs10,000 monthly salary, with the reference of an acquaintance named Chaudhry Mukhtar, seven months ago.

The girl's parents came to know about her being subjected to torture at the judge's house on Monday (July 23) when they went to meet her.

It may be noted that the victim's parents have said that they hadn't met her during these seven months but talked to her on the phone sometimes.

"When we [complainant, his wife and her brother] entered the gate, we heard my daughter crying. Hearing that made me concerned so we went towards the room and found my daughter in wounded condition [...]," the complainant stated in the FIR.

He alleged that his daughter was subjected to severe torture by the judge’s wife, and there were torture marks all over the child’s body.

Upon examining her condition, the parents found several injuries on the girl's entire body, with serious wounds on the head, which were "infested with maggots".

The major injuries described by the complainant include swelling on lips and eyes, broken teeth, and ribs and strangling marks on the neck.

As per the FIR, the complainant has accused Somia of torturing and keeping his daughter in illegal custody since the day she started working at the judge's house and sought action on the matter.

Meanwhile, the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) Police said that action is being taken for the arrest of the suspect.

They said that the case investigation would be done on merit and that all requirements of justice would be fulfilled.

Civil judge brushes aside allegations

Meanwhile, Civil Judge Hafeez, when asked about the alleged torture, brushed aside the accusations, saying that the wounds on the girl's body were a result of eating soil from the planters kept in his house.

"The girl was a house help at our home. She ate soil from the planters a month ago, which damaged her skin," the judge said while speaking to Geo News.

He said that he had got the diagnosis of the "skin condition" and treatment done from a doctor in Gujranwala, but the girl would pick and scratch her wounds after her skin started healing.

On the wound on her head, Hafeez claimed that when they told the girl they would be dropping off the child back to her home, she banged her head on a wall.

He also said that he didn't know about the condition of the wounds on the girl's head as she kept her head covered with a scarf.

"The girl used to tell us that if she went back, her mother would beat her so she did not want to go home but we left her there," Hafeez added.

"I am against physical abuse and torture incidents never happened in front of me,” claimed the judge.

Hafeez said Somia had told him the girl didn't work, so they left her with her parents in their house in Sargodha.

“My wife along with the driver dropped off the girl at her home in Sargodha,” said Hafeez claiming that the mother started beating the child in front of his wife as she dropped her off.

On the accusation of stealing jewellery, the judge contested that his wife complained to him about not finding her jewellery but “did not” accuse the child of stealing.

He said he was going to Lahore, where the girl was undergoing treatment, and he wanted her to get well soon.