LAHORE, July 13: An application has been filed in the Supreme Court seeking stay against the orders likely to be issued by the president of Pakistan for execution of 400 prisoners on death row.
Barrister Zafarullah of the Watan Party filed the application in an already pending main petition for striking down the capital punishment in the country.
The petitioner stated interior ministry sent cases of 400 condemned prisoners to president for quick decision, citing different reasons, including overcrowded jails.
He said elimination of human lives without deciding the law points would be illegal and unconstitutional and be a great threat for the country’s judicial system.
He said during the pendency of the petition on the subject, the ministry’s act amounted to contempt of court.
Barrister Khan, therefore, prayed execution of all death-row prisoners, including the 400 whose mercy petitions were pending before the president, be restrained immediately.
He further prayed the issue of expectancy of life should be decided in light of Article 13 of the Constitution.
In his main petition, Barrister Khan, showed distrust in country’s system, said weak and inefficient prosecution most of the time resulted in conviction of innocent people and the execution of former prime minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto was a glaring example of this.
He said corruption in society had also overwhelmed the criminal justice system in the country whereof the chances of the innocent being declared guilty had increased manifold.
The petitioner said right to life had been embodied as natural right in Article 9 of the Constitution whereas end to life through unnatural means was quite incompatible and inconsistent with the concept of right to life.
He prayed to the court to strike down the death penalty in books of law as it was unconstitutional and that such order was necessary to save the innocent from being wrongly convicted under the current system.