PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court (PHC) on Wednesday ordered constitution of a special bench for hearing the bail cancelation applications of 25 people who were sentenced to three years imprisonment by an anti-terrorism court in the Mashal lynching case.
A two-member bench comprising Chief Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth and Justice Musarrat Hilali ordered formation of the special bench for hearing the bail cancelation applications on September 14.
The special bench will comprise of Justice Lal Jan Khattak and Justice Syed Muhammad Attique Shah.
The same bench had suspended the three years conviction of the 25 people and released them on bail till a final decision on the case.
However, both the provincial government and Mashal Khan’s father Iqbal Khan had filed bail cancellation applications in the high court.
During the hearing, Barrister Ameerullah Khan Chamkani submitted before the bench that legal requirements were not fulfilled in the appeals for suspending the conviction as there was no notice to the complainant before releasing the convicts on bail.
It was submitted in the bail cancellation applications that the accused were sentenced on charges of terrorism and under sections 8 and 25 of Anti-Terrorism Act, the convicts could not be released on bail. It said the release on bail is also contrary to the law.
It was argued that the court had partially allowed the appeals by suspending the sentence under the provision of Criminal Procedure Code, but under Section 31 of the Anti-Terrorism Act when there was some conflict in these laws, the provision of Anti-Terrorism Act will prevail.
In the application, father of Mashal Khan and his lawyers have also questioned the role of a law officer for not opposing the release of 25 convicts on bail in the Mashal lynching case.
They had questioned the legal requirements before the release of the convicts in the appeals against conviction.
The reaction of Iqbal Khan and his lawyers had come after the order of Peshawar High Court’s Abbottabad Circuit Bench to suspend conviction of the appellants in the lynching case and order their release on bail till decision in the appeals.
The Abbottabad Circuit Bench comprising Justice Lal Jan Khattak and Justice Syed Muhammad Attique Shah had passed the order on February 27, stating that the learned additional advocate general, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa didn’t raise any objection on the suspension of the sentences.
Later, Additional Advocate General Raja Muhammad Zubair filed before the same bench the bail cancellation application of the 25 persons who had been released. The law officer submitted in the bail cancelation application that he was wrongly mentioned in the order sheet that he did not concede the release of the appellants on bail.
He had also requested the bench to review the order about him that he did not concede the release of the 25 appellants on bail.