What denies convicts compromise opportunity

Published May 10, 2015
As many as 500 cases of terrorism, rape, kidnap for ransom and murder are pending with the ATCs in Punjab.  — AFP/file
As many as 500 cases of terrorism, rape, kidnap for ransom and murder are pending with the ATCs in Punjab. — AFP/file

LAHORE: Anti-terrorism courts (ATCs) are awarding death sentences to murder convicts despite the victim families’ desire to have a compromise with them because of the fact that Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) which is applied on them is non-compoundable.

Section 302 CrPC which is also applied on manslaughter is compoundable, allowing the legal heirs of a murdered person to have a compromise with the killer, but Section 7 of the ATA is non-compoundable.

Since the killers whose cases are sent to the ATCs are charged under these two laws, they cannot have a compromise with the victims’ families despite the desire of the latter, say Punjab government sources.

According to them, murder convicts in at least 10 cases were awarded death sentence in the last two months despite the desire of the heirs of the victims to have a compromise with them.

In one such case, the heirs of a policeman killed in Multan some time ago wanted to have a compromise with the killers to get money for the sustenance of his (policeman’s) family. But the desire could not be materialised because of the non-compoundable 7 ATA.

Sources said Diyat was introduced in the CrPC to allow the willing victim family to get the killers punished this way provided in the Islamic jurisprudence. Diyat allowed the victim family especially children to strike a compromise with the killers so as to get means of sustenance in the absence of their killed bread-earner.

At present, the minimum Diyat money is Rs2.5 million and in cases in which the accused was bound to get death sentence, the figure could be raised.

“Yes, death sentence in Islam is meant to discourage murder, and bloodshed as a result of it. But if the family of a victim is satisfied with Diyat and does not want an eye for an eye, the facility should be allowed to it,” remarked an official.

As many as 500 cases of terrorism, rape, kidnap for ransom and murder are pending with the ATCs in Punjab.

Published in Dawn, May 10th, 2015

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