Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry - File Photo
KARACHI: Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry on Friday said pardoning in God's name someone convicted of murder by a court of law was tantamount to evading the law, DawnNews reported.
The chief justice's remarks come days after the parents and two sisters of Shahzeb Khan, who was murdered in cold blood by a business tycoon’s son and his three accomplices, approached the Sindh High Court to seek acquittal of the convicts after pardoning them “in the name of Allah”.
The pardon of the men convicted of Shahzeb's murder triggered a widespread debate over whether the country’s elite could be held accountable for crimes they committed as the prime accused belonged to powerful feudal families.
Today, Chief Justice Iftikhar was speaking on the matter during the hearing of another murder case.
The chief justice stated that it was wrong to use Quranic verses and religion for personal gains.
He said most suffering individuals and families were usually pressured into pardoning the convict, adding that it was the responsibility of the court(s) to prevent acts that harm not only certain people and families, but society at large from occurring.
Chief Justice Iftikhar declared that if an agreement between the parties fails to bring peace to either of the two, it could not be regarded as such. The agreement between the parties has to be valid for a court of law to allow the pardon for the convict(s).
The chief justice has asked Attornery General Munir A. Malik, all four provincial prosecutor generals and Advocate Shahid Hamid, who is representing a party in the case heard today, for their opinions on the issue relating to pardon in murder cases by September 23.