Lahore: Final arguments in a case of murder attempt at law student Khadija Siddiqui will begin today at a Cantonment area trial court.
Khadija Sidiqui, 21, had miraculously survived the attempt last year. She was stabbed around 23 times allegedly by one of her classmates, identified through video footage from closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras as Shah Hussain. The FIR was subsequently registered with the Civil Lines police station.
However, the matter got into the limelight earlier in this year when Siddiqui penned an article in an English daily complaining that the father of the accused, who was an influential lawyer, was using his connections to delay the trial.
A solidarity campaign then started on the social media. Taking notice of the delay, Lahore High Court (LHC) Chief Justice Mansoor Ali Shah ordered day-to-day hearing of the case. The case was fixed for these hearings at the court of Mubashir Hussain Awan.
The mainstream media took notice of the matter after the news that her alleged attacker was set to sit a law examination in the same hall where Siddiqqui was supposed to take the test.
Speaking to Daily Times, Khadija Siddiqui said that the counsel for the accused had tried to intimidate the judge hearing the case many times by showing up with a group of lawyers from the Lahore Bar Association and chanting slogans against her.
Siddiqui's counsel Hassan Niazi says that since the defence counsel did not have much in terms of arguments, they resorted to character assassination of his client at a recent hearing. "They asked several inappropriate questions during cross-examination. Their request to include her [Siddiqui's] personal photos as evidence in the case was turned down by the court," he said.
To delay the hearing, the counsel noted, the accused party kept coming with excuses. He said on the first day of the day-to-day hearings started on the LHC chief justice's directive the counsel for the accused party said they did not have case files and requested the court to adjourn the hearing. They managed to delay the hearing by a couple of days only, he noted.
Siddiqui also complained that the accused party was pressuring her into withdrawing my complaint. She said she would neither submit to this pressure nor to tactics like her character assassination. She hoped that the court would ensure prompt justice in the matter.
Published in Daily Times, July 27th 2017.