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June 30, 2020

Daniel Pearl case: SC rejects Sindh govt plea for setting aside SHC judgment

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June 30, 2020

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) on Monday declined plea of Sindh government seeking setting aside impugned judgment of Sindh High Court (SHC) overturning death sentence to British-born Ahmed Omar Sheikh as well as acquitting three other accused in the kidnapping and beheading of American journalist Daniel Pearl.

A three-member bench of the apex court headed by Justice Mushir Alam, Justice Manzoor Malik and Justice Qazi Muhammad Amin Ahmed heard the criminal petition filed by the government of Sindh for leave to appeal under Article 185(3) of the Constitution against the impugned judgment passed by Sindh High Court on April, 2.

During the hearing, thecourt asked Farooq H Naeek, counsel for Sindh government that his application for early hearing of the petition was fixed. Farooq H Naek submitted that the acquitted men were not released after the verdict was announced and kept in detention over the Maintenance of Public Order. The learned counsel submitted that the detention period under the MPO will end on July 2.

Naek contended that one suspect has been linked to working with a terrorist organisation in India, while another one with Afghanistan. The counsel contended that there will be serious consequences if the suspects are freed.

Justice Yahya Khan Afridi, a member of the bench observed that the men have been acquitted by a court, how the learned counsel can still call them terrorists. Justice Mushir Alam, who was heading the bench, observed that they cannot suspend the judgment of the learned high court without any solid evidence.

The judge, however, asked the learned counsel that the provincial government may extend the MPO if it wants. Meanwhile, the court adjourned the hearing until September.