‘We won’t ignore the regulation’: SC acquits homicide suspect a decade after imprisonment

'We can't ignore the law': SC acquits murder suspect a decade after imprisonment
'We can't ignore the law': SC acquits murder suspect a decade after imprisonment

The Supreme Court docket on Tuesday acquitted a person — who had been handed a life sentence by the Lahore Excessive Court docket (LHC) in a homicide case — 10 years after his imprisonment.

Chief Justice of Pakistan Asif Saeed Khosa, who headed the three-member bench that heard the case, mentioned that the prosecution had been unable to show its allegations towards Asfandyar through the homicide trial within the excessive courtroom. He berated the Justice of the Peace, Kanwar Anwar Ali, for not following the authorized process and failing to conduct the id parade correctly and summoned him in particular person on Feb 22.

“It’s distressing to see such instances,” he mentioned. “Why are [suspects] handled like this? A baby was killed and the suspect was convicted because of the Justice of the Peace’s failure to carry an id parade correctly and comply with authorized process.”

The highest decide insisted that folks “who’re purported to comply with the regulation” needs to be held answerable.

“Aren’t they skilled earlier than being appointed as Justice of the Peace?” he requested. Asfandyar’s lawyer advised the highest decide that authorized coaching is offered earlier than appointing somebody as Justice of the Peace.

In 2009, an anti-terrorism courtroom (ATC) had discovered Asfandyar responsible of murdering Adil Butt, a pupil. In line with the prosecution, Asfandyar had kidnapped Butt for ransom and killed him after the sufferer’s household did not pay the cash. The case was later heard by the LHC that overturned the ATC’s verdict and sentenced him to life.

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Throughout the listening to right this moment, Justice Khosa requested why the ATC and LHC had did not “take a look at the regulation”.

“We won’t ignore the regulation and sentence a person,” he mentioned.

He additionally identified the variations within the statements recorded by the witnesses, that differed within the variety of males that have been seen disposing of the sufferer’s physique. The chief justice raised questions over the process that the police adopted to find out the guilt of a suspect.

“It looks as if the testimonies have been developed after the suspect was arrested,” he noticed and requested how the police had reached the suspect. Asfandyar’s lawyer mentioned that an “informer” had advised police in regards to the suspect’s involvement. The police later discovered that the suspect had disposed of the physique in a stream, he added.

“On a regular basis we see that police get to the suspect instantly. The suspect is actual however all of the testimonies are false,” Justice Khosa regretted. “The place will the regulation go if we shut our eyes as effectively? Somebody has to begin [ensuring that the law is being followed].”

Since assuming the place of prime decide final month, Justice Khosa has rued the follow of recording false testimonies and flawed rulings by decrease courts. Whereas listening to a evaluation petition in a rape case in January, he identified that an harmless particular person may very well be “sentenced to dying due to [a] false assertion”. He has additionally criticised excessive courts for “ignoring proof”.

Within the detailed judgement of the Supreme Court docket’s verdict within the Khadija Siddiqui stabbing case, he expressed hope that the “excessive courtroom [would] do higher on this regard in future”. The highest courtroom had overturned a choice handed by the Lahore Excessive Court docket which acquitted Shah Hussain, the youth accused of stabbing classmate Khadija 23 occasions.

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