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SHC moved for reopening case against Bilal Khar

Jamal Khurshid

Karachi: The Sindh High Court on Monday issued notices to the advocate general Sindh, prosecutor general Sindh and former Punjab Assembly MPA Bilal Khar on a petition for reopening the Fakhra Yunus acid-throwing case.

Bilal Khar, son of former Punjab governor Malik Ghulam Mustafa Khar, was acquitted by the District and Sessions Court (South) in December 2003 from the charges of throwing acid on his estranged wife Fakhra Yunus, as prosecution failed to prove the case.

The prosecution alleged that Bilal threw acid on Yunus on May 14, 2000 in Napier area and fled. However, the prosecution witnesses, including Fakhra’s brother-in-law, her sister’s mother-in-law Shahida Malik, turned hostile during the proceedings in trial court and did not identify Bilal Khar as the accused who threw acid on Ms. Yunus.

Fakhra, who was shifted to Italy for plastic surgery after the attack, had committed suicide last month. Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research and other rights activists submitted in the petition that late Fakhra was denied justice as the trial court decided the acquittal application in December 2003 without recording her testimony, which was unjust. They prayed the court to set aside the trial court’s judgment and order re-opening of trial against the respondent Bilal Khar.

They said that the Parliament has enacted legislation on crime against women, specially acid throwing incidents, and prayed the court to remand back the case to trial court with the direction to decide it in accordance with the law.

After conducting preliminary hearing of the petition, SHC’s division bench headed by Justice Maqbool Baqar issued notices to Advocate General, Prosecutor General and others and called record and proceedings of Fakhra case from the trial court.

Arbab Ghulam Rahim challenges disqualification: Former chief minister Arbab Rahim moved the SHC against the Sindh Assembly’s decision to declare his seat vacant.

Through his attorney, Arbab Ghulam Rahim assailed the Sindh Assembly’s motion that unseated the former CM on March 21. The motion was moved in Sindh Assembly by a PPP legislator, submitting that Arbab Rahim had remained absent from the house for 40 consecutive working days, therefore, his seat be declared vacant.

The contention of the petitioner was that the ruling political party victimized the former chief minister after he turned down the offer of PPP leaders for withdrawing his candidature from the Senate election and opted for the election. The matter was fixed before SHC’s division bench headed by Justice Faisal Arab but after the observation of one member of the bench that the petition may not be placed before him the matter was referred to Chief Justice for constitution of another bench to hear the petition.

The News