`Cruelty to child` section added to FIR against civil judge`s wife

ISLAMABAD: The capital police have added a new section to the maid torture case against the wife of a civil judge.Police officers confirmed to Dawn that section 328-A (cruelty to a child) had been added to the FIR.

The section says: `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 up to three years, or with fine which shall not be less than twenty-five thousand rupees and may extend up to fifty thousand rupees, or with both).

The officers said the section of Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) wasadded to the FIR keeping in view the torture on the 13-year girl working as a maid at the house of the civil judge.

The officers and legal experts said sections related to attempted murder, fracturing bone, deep wounds, breaking teeth, hiring underage as maid and concealing facts should also be added to the case.

The medico-legal certificate (MLC) suggested that there were attempts of strangulation. Besides, the complaint and the FIR said marks of strangulation were found around the girl`s neck. She was struggling for her life at the ICU of a hospital in Lahore, they said, adding based on the MLC as describedin the complaint, section 324 should also be added to the FIR.

As per the content of the complaint and the MLC, sections 337-A and 337-F should also be added to the FIR regarding injuries in the upper and lower parts of the body, respectively. The case also warrants section 337 (3) (iii) or 337-E (v) and 337-Uas the girl had suffered fracture of bones with her two teeth broken.

Moreover, the judge and his wife should also stand trial under the Labour Act for employing an underage as a maid.

The officers and legal experts said the man, who had arranged the underage girl as a maid for the judge, should be booked under thelabour law and relevant sections of the PPC.

The girl`s condition is critical and she is struggling for her life at the ICU. Under such circumstances, how doctors could allow a team of officials from the capital police to get her statement and how she could give an statement, another officer said.

However, they recorded the statement of the girl`s father, Manga Khan, he added.

The police team also inquired from the father if he was willing to compromise with the accused and pardon her and her husband.

However, he categorically refused, he said.

A police official was contacted byDawn for comments, but he refused to talk on record and said on condition of anonymity that the police were yet to receive a verified MLC, so the relevant sections were not yet added to the FIR.

When told that these were mentioned in the complaint and the Sargodha police had also provided the MLC to capital police, the officer said the same was not received through a proper and legal channel.

In their social media accounts, the capital police claimed that its team had got the statement of the girl and her father. The police also said child labour was a crime and if anyone had any information about it, they should inform the police.

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