Friday, October 2, 2015

Pakistani Supreme Court hits the brakes on military court execution

The Supreme Court of Pakistan today suspended the death sentence handed down by a military court under the 21st Amendment. The petitioner will now have to exhaust his remedies under the Army Act. According to this report in Pakistan Today:
The Supreme Court suspended on Friday the execution of a convict awarded death sentence by a military court. 
A two-judge bench headed by Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan asked the applicant, Sabir Shah, to avail appeal forum before the military court under Army Act 1952. 
Shah, believed to be a member of a proscribed organisation, was convicted for his suspected involvement in the sectarian killing of a lawyer, Syed Arshad Ali, in Lahore. 
Dr Khalid Ranjha, counsel of Laila Bibi, the mother of the convict, had challenged Sabir Shah’s death sentence, stating in her petition that her son was a juvenile and was not given the right to fair trial. 
Further, the counsel said that the family members were not allowed to meet Shah and that he had not been given a chance to engage a counsel to plead his case. 
Earlier, the apex court admitted another petition for preliminary hearing against the military court’s verdict to award death sentence to an alleged militant. 
Saleh Bibi through her counsel Asma Jahangir had filed a petition under Article 184(3) of the Constitution against the award of death sentence to her husband by the military court.

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