Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Lahore High Court vacates stay of executions

The Rawalpindi Bench of the Lahore High Court has vacated the stay it previously issued with respect to the execution of five men who were convicted in a military court. The Daily Times account reports:
"Deputy Attorney General (DAG) Sajid Bhatti appeared in the court and took the plea that the accused were tried in a military court for killing seven security personnel. The court had awarded death penalty to five accused in February 2014 and they challenged their conviction as per law.
"However, their petition was dismissed on June 10, 2014. Later, their death warrant was issued in conformity with the relevant law. The accused had killed army officers therefore, military court had awarded death sentence to them. He further said that the accused persons sent mercy appeal to army chief which was rejected by the latter. No ruling can be given against the orders of military court as per law. Filing of appeal in civil court in connection with their trial was illegal. Therefore, the court should have dismissed their petitions in the beginning. The five accused persons are now in Kot Lakhpat Jail, Lahore, and are awaiting hanging. Therefore, the stay order issued against their conviction be dismissed. The court while accepting federation appeal plea vacated its own stay order and restored the death penalty of all the five accused." [Emphasis added.]
If any reader locates a copy of the judgment, please post it as a comment or email it to the editor at Yale Law School. It would seem that, unless the Supreme Court steps in, democracy and the rule of law will become collateral damage from the Peshawar school massacre.

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