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Public hanging: Islamic punishment means to stop crime, says CII

February 15, 2018

ISLAMABAD: The Council of Islamic Ideology on Wednesday officially conveyed to the Senate that the government and the courts can go ahead with public hanging of a convict without amending any law.

In its response to the Senate’s reference on the question of public hanging, the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) on Wednesday House. The one-page reply of the CII, which had deliberated upon the issue last week, based its recommendations on the teachings of Islam.

The CII said that in Sharia, the purpose of punishment is to set an example and create deterrence against the crime. The Council’s reply said that in the case of Had-e-Zina (punishment for fornication), the Holy Quran explains that a group of people- Taifa- should be present to witness the execution of the punishment. The Council added the word Taifa is defined by the Islamic jurisprudence as a group of people whose number can vary from three to forty.

The CII said in the severe forms of dacoities, the Sharia envisages the punishment of public execution. Regarding other punishments in Islam, the CII added an example should be made out of the culprit for deterrence in the society against the crime.

Referring to interpretation of Islamic scholars and jurisprudence, the CII explained today in the presence of media the purpose, of creating deterrence and making an example out of the culprit, can even be achieved through media publicity of the execution of the punishment.

Regarding the Senate’s question of amending Section 364-A of the CrPC to include the words “Public hanging”, the CII said that no such amendment to the law is required as the purpose could be achieved under the prevalent law. The CII while referring to Rule 364 of the Prison Rules 1978 and Section 10 of Special Court for Speedy Trial Act 1992 concluded that in the presence of these laws and rules, the court and the government can go for public hanging of a convict.

The CII response further said the present judicial system requires reformation for speedy justice not only to the satisfaction of the affected family but also to ensure the impression of certainty of punishment in the society. In the case of heinous crimes, the CII said the culprits should be punished by the courts without any waste of time.

Of late, the Senate Secretariat had referred to the Council a proposed amendment to 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.

The CII’s position on public hanging, does not go in line with the opinion of some politicians and even the Chief Justice of Pakistan. Initially Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif had said that he wanted to publicly hang the murderers and rapists of the young girls in Kasur to set an example but the law does not allow him to do so. The chief minister said he would get the law amended to pave the way for public hangings.

The Chief Justice of Pakistan during the hearing of suo moto case of Zainab murder was reported by the media to have told the father of the murdered child that he too wanted to publicly hang the culprit but it was not permissible by the law of the land.