Supreme Court orders immediate arrest of accused after rendering Lahore High Court verdict null and void
The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Wednesday accepted stabbing victim Khadija Siddiqui’s appeal and overturned a Lahore High Court ruling acquitting her alleged attacker of all charges.
A three-member bench, led by Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, heard arguments from both sides and ordered accused Shah Hussain to be taken into custody immediately. “Today is a victory for all women,” Siddiqui told media after the hearing. “This decision has proven that if you misuse power, it will come to light,” she said, thanking her lawyers and the media for playing a role in ensuring justice was not denied.
Siddiqui, a law student who was stabbed 23 times in Lahore in 2016 while picking up her younger sister from school, had been left critically injured after the attack. She identified Hussain as her attacker and on July 29, 2017 he was convicted of attempted murder and sentenced to 7 years in jail. In March 2018, this sentence was reduced to 5 years by a sessions court judge with the Lahore High Court—before which Hussain’s father practices law—acquitting the accused in June over “insufficient evidence.”
Hussain’s acquittal had provoked outrage across Pakistan, prompting then-Chief Justice Saqib Nisar to take notice and forward the case to a Supreme Court bench led by Justice Khosa for further hearing. The appeal was formally admitted for hearing on June 13, 2018.