The Battle and The Victory…

November 27th, 2009 by Valerie Khan Leave a reply »
Another article from The News international, celebrating Acid Survivors Foundation and Naila’s victory…

Friday turns jubilation day for acid burn survivor

Saturday, November 14, 2009
By Myra Imran

Friday was all jubilation for acid burn survivor Naila Farhat when in the very first hearing of her case, the Supreme Court took only 10 minutes to rule in her favour, upholding the Sessions Court verdict against Irshad Hussian, a tailor who threw acid on her face in 2003.

Setting an example of quick justice, the SC set aside the High Court’s decision and upheld the two previous verdicts given by Magistrate and Sessions Courts by awarding 12 years imprisonment to the accused along with compensation of Rs1.2 million for the victim.

Terming it a big achievement, Legal Coordinator for Acid Survivors Foundation (ASF), Sana Masood said that such decisions usually took at least three months on an average. “For criminal cases it could take even longer,” she said, adding that they were not expecting such a quick decision from the SC.

Irshad, a friend of Naila’s teacher and a tailor by profession, attacked her with acid in 2003 when she was only 13. The family was punished for refusing the marriage proposal from Irshad.

Naila was attacked as she returned from school along with her friends. Irshad asked her to come with him. On her refusal, Naila’s teacher Muzhar Hussian grabbed her whereas Irshad spayed her with acid causing complete disfigurement of her face thus making her life permanently miserable.

Irshad was sentenced to 12-year imprisonment and a fine of Rs1.2 million by the Magistrate and Sessions Court but when the culprits appealed in the High Court, it ruled that Irshad be released if he agrees to pay the fine. The Sessions Court had already acquitted his friend Mazhar as nothing could be proved against him.

Despite pressure from the other party to withdraw her case, Naila’s family decided to file the case in the Supreme Court against the High Court’s decision. “All of us are very happy that finally we got justice,” said Naila while talking to ‘The News’.

She said that she was anticipating a decision in her favour but hadn’t expected such a quick process. “Now I will concentrate on my studies and stitching course,” she said.

Naila was a bright student and used to top in every class. She now cannot see with her left eye and the attack has also severely affected her other eye. “My mother wanted me to become a doctor,” she said adding that the support of her mother and father kept her going throughout the chaotic six years.

She is living at the Nursing Care and Rehabilitation Unit, ASF where she receives medical care and psychological counselling in addition to skill training.

Talking about the fate of the culprit’s accomplice, Naila said that she and her family might also challenge the decision of the Sessions Court that released him due to lack of evidence. “He was a partner in crime and grabbed me as Irshad threw acid on me,” she said.

Naila’s determination to ‘knock every possible door for justice’ has finally resulted in one such criminal being put behind bars for 12 good years. “I am thankful to Allah who gave me courage to fight for my right,” she said joyfully.


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