KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Monday reissued notice to former Punjab Assembly member Bilal Khar on the petition for reopening the Fakhra Younus acid-throwing case.
Son of former Punjab governor Malik Ghulam Mustafa Khar, Bilal Khar was acquitted of the charge of throwing acid on his estranged wife Fakhra by the District and Sessions Court (South) in December 2003, as the prosecution had failed to prove that he was guilty.
The prosecution had claimed that Bilal Khar threw acid on Fakhra on May 14, 2000 in the Napier locality.
However, the prosecution witnesses – including Fakhra’s brother-in-law and her sister’s mother-in-law Shahida Malik – turned hostile during the proceedings of the trial court and did not identify Bilal Khar as the accused.
Fakhra, who was shifted to Italy for plastic surgery after the attack, committed suicide in March 2012.
Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research as well as other rights organisations submitted in the petition that Fakhra was denied justice, as the trial court had decided the acquittal application in December 2003 without recording her testimony.
They said this was unjust and prayed to the court to set aside the trial court order and order the reopening of the trial against respondent Bilal Khar.
They also said the Parliament had formulated legislation on crimes against women, especially acid-throwing, and prayed to the court to send the case back to the trial court with the directive to decide it in accordance with the law.
The court was informed by the petitioners that Bilal Khar was arrested by the Kot Addu police in Punjab and a fresh notice be issued to him through the Punjab police chief.
Granting the request, the SHC division bench headed by Justice Maqbool Baqar issued a fresh notice to the former member provincial assembly (MPA) and adjourned the hearing to a date to be fixed later by the office.