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February 10, 2018

CII says law allows, SC bans public hanging

Top Story

February 10, 2018

ISLAMABAD: The Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) in its Thursday’s meeting concluded that the government does not require any new law but can go for public hanging of any convict under the preset set of laws already implemented in the country. However, the Council did note that the Supreme Court has banned the public hanging.

Chairman CII Dr Qibla Ayaz while rebutting the media reports about the Council’s opposition to public hanging, told The News here on Friday that the Council has instead said that a convict can be publicly hanged without amending any law.

Dr Ayaz said that the Senate Committee had approached the Council with the simple question whether any amendment in the present set of statutes is required to publically hang a convict. The same question, the chairman CII said, was considered by the council and concluded that public hanging does not require a new law or any amendment.

Regarding the publicity of the execution through media, he clarified that it does not mean the running of a news item only but also showing the execution on television screens to create a deterrence against crime in the society.

According to the documents available with The News, the CII mainly relied on Prison Rules 1978 and Special Court For Speedy Trial Act 1992 to conclude that parliament does not need to amend the law to allow public hanging of any convict.

These documents as presented before the CII meeting, referred to Rule 364 of the Prison Rules 1978, which reads: “Spectators may be admitted. Respectable male adults up to maximum of twelve, may be admitted with the sanction of the Superintendent, to witness an execution either inside a prison, or into the gallows enclosure when the gallows is outside the prison; provided that the Superintendent may in his discretion refuse admission altogether or to any particular individual. Spectators are to be kept at a distance and a sufficient strength of the guard should be drawn up close at hand, ready, prepared to suppress any disturbance or frustrate any attempt at rescue. The wali of the victim if so desires, shall be allowed to witness the execution.”

The CII also referred to Section 10 of Special Court For Speedy Trial Act 1992, which reads: “Place Of Execution Of Sentence: The Government may specify the place of execution of any sentence passed under this Act, having regard to the deterrent effect which such execution is likely to have.”

The CII chairman explained that during the council's meeting two of its members - both former judges - pointed out that the Supreme Court had banned the public hanging. Dr Qibla Ayaz, however, said that still the sessions court could order for public hanging of a convict but it would be stayed by the SC.

He said that one of the members told the council during the meeting that a sessions judge had ordered public hanging of a convict but it led to the initiation of disciplinary proceedings against him by the respective high court.

Of late, the Senate Secretariat had referred to the council a proposed amendment in CrPC to allow public hanging. the Senate Committee on Interior under the chairmanship of Senator A Rehman Malik had recommended the amendment to publicly hang the convicts like the one involved in Kasur incidents. As against the CII position of existing law, the Chief Justice of Pakistan during the hearing of suo moto case of Zainab murder had told the father of the murdered child that he too wants to publicly hang the culprit but it is not permissible by the law of the land. The CII, however, did not find any impediment created by law for the public hanging of a convict but did talk about how theSC had banned the same.

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