Sabir Shah case: LHC directs Interior Ministry to probe military court trial

Published September 8, 2015
Convict's mother stated Sabir Shah was juvenile at the time and was not given right to fair trial. ─ AFP/File
Convict's mother stated Sabir Shah was juvenile at the time and was not given right to fair trial. ─ AFP/File

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court on Tuesday directed the Interior Ministry to submit their reply on the trial and investigation of convict Sabir Shah who was earlier awarded the death sentence by a military court.

The two-member bench headed by Justice Abdul Sami issued a notice to the Interior Ministry to respond within 48 hours with details on how the trial and investigation were conducted by the military court.

Laila Bibi, the mother of the convict, challenged Sabir Shah's death sentence, stating in her petition that her son was a juvenile (below 18 years) and was not given the right to fair trial.

She said his family members were not allowed to meet him, and that he had not been given a chance to engage counsel to plead his case.

Bibi also asked the court to set aside the military court’s verdict claiming that the sentence awarded to her son was "unjust and unfair".

The petitioner requested a stay order on the execution, but the LHC refused to grant a stay order until the Interior Ministry was able to shed light on the case.

The hearing was adjourned until Sept 10.

Sabir Shah, believed to be a member of a proscribed organisation, was convicted for his suspected involvement in the sectarian killing of lawyer Syed Arshad Ali in Lahore.

Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif had confirmed his death sentence last week.

Also read: Military court verdict challenged in high court

The claim follows the execution of Shafqat Hussain, a death-row prisoner who was hanged to death in Karachi after a prolonged trial.

Hussain had been arrested and sentenced to death in 2004 for the kidnapping and murder of a seven-year-old boy who lived in a Karachi apartment building where Shafqat worked as a security guard.

Hussain's counsel maintained that he had been a minor at the time of sentencing, following which the Federal Investigation Agency had been directed to investigate the case.

Shafqat Hussain was hanged on Aug 4 after his black warrant was issued for the fifth time on July 27.

Also read: Shafqat Hussain executed at Karachi Central Jail

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