SHC reissues notice in Fakhra acid attack case

KARACHI: Sindh High Court (SHC) on Monday once again issued notice to Bilal Mustafa Khar, the prime suspect in Fakhra Younus acid attack case, to file comments in a petition seeking reopening of the acid attack case.

A division bench of SHC headed by Chief Justice Maqbool Baqar was seized with the hearing of a petition filed by three NGOs – Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research, Shirkat Gah and Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum (through Advocate Faisal Siddiqui) – calling for effective implementation of criminal laws for investigation of crimes against women, particularly acid attack cases.

Fakhra had committed suicide by jumping off the sixth floor of her apartment situated in the Italian city of Rome on March 17, 2012. Her husband Bilal Khar, former Punjab governor and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader Ghulam Mustafa Khar, had allegedly burned her face with acid in 2000.

Advocate Faisal Siddique representing petitioners said that Bilal, who attacked her spouse in May 2000, was arrested after a delay of nearly two years and finally acquitted by a sessions judge in South Karachi on December 16, 2003 on lack of evidence.

He said that Bilal was acquitted as four eyewitnesses could not identify him in court. “The judgment was given without fulfilling legal requirements. It was an illegal judgment and the case shall be reopened,” he added.

Faisal said that Fakhra’s case should be reinvestigated under the guidelines of the newly enacted the Criminal Law (Second Amendment) Act 2011 through which necessary amendments were made to the previous law to control crimes against women.

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