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April 16, 2019

PHC stops execution of another terror suspect

Peshawar

April 16, 2019

PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court (PHC) on Monday stopped till next order the execution of another terror suspect who had been convicted by a military court.

The PHC has suspended about 91 death sentences awarded by military court.

A division bench headed by Chief Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth suspended the death sentence of a terror convict Gul Zamin, a resident of Kabal tehsil in Swat district and stopped his execution till the decision of the court in the case.

The bench directed the federal government through the Ministry of Defence to submit the record of the case on the next hearing.

Bakht Zamin, brother of the convict, had filed the review petition against the decision of the military court.

During the hearing, Malik Muhammad Ajmal Khan, counsel for the petitioner, submitted that the petitioner came to know about the death sentence by a military court to his brother during his meeting with him on April 5 at internment centre at Paithom in Swat.

He said that the military court had awarded death sentence Gul Zamin on December 21, 2018.

The lawyer submitted that the security forces had also picked up another brother of the petitioner Taza Khan and he was released after eight months after declaring him innocent.

However, he said that the military court awarded death sentence to Gul Zamin without giving him the right of defence, which, he said, was illegal. On March 19, the PHC had passed a conditional order in 90 review petitions filed by the terrorism convicts against the decisions of military courts, directing the Ministry of Defence to provide records of the cases on May 25 or else the court would decide the cases on merit.

The court temporarily stopped the execution of 66 convicts by suspending their death sentences awarded by military courts since June 2018. “In some cases, more than six months have passed but the Ministry of Defence failed to provide records of military courts’ decisions,” PHC Chief Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth had observed while heading a division bench in the cases of 90 persons convicted by the military courts on terrorism charges. A representative of the Ministry of Defence sought more time for the provision of the military courts’ records in the cases.

He informed the court that the record was delayed as there had been an extraordinary situation for the law-enforcement agencies for the last month as the enemy attacks were foiled at several points in the border areas. “In view of the prevailing war-like situation, the respondents request for more time for providing the records for examination before the court. The respondents are directed to provide records on May 25 for the examination of the lawyers.

The court will pass an order in the cases on May 28 if the Ministry of Defence failed in providing the records,” the bench had said as it passed the conditional order in the cases.

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