LAHORE: A Lahore High Court (LHC) division bench on Monday summoned the case record and a report from superintendent of the Kot Lakhpat Jail on the appeal of Imran Ali against his conviction in rape-cum-murder case of seven-year-old Zainab of Kasur.

Haji Amin Ansari, father of the victim girl, was present in the court along with his counsel when the bench, headed by Justice Sadaqat Ali Khan, took up the appeal of the condemned prisoner. Appearance of a convict before courts is not necessary in appeal proceedings.

The bench adjourned hearing till March 12, directing the jail superintendent to present the record of the case.

In his jail-appeal, Imran Ali pleaded that he had confessed to his crime and saved the precious time of the trial court. He said in developed countries the courts treated criminals with leniency if they made a confession but the trial court did not show leniency in his case despite the confession. The condemned prisoner urged the court to set aside his death penalty and also commute other sentences.

Talking to the media, Mr Ansari expressed dissatisfaction with police investigation and complained that justice had not been done in the case. He said he had made two telephone calls to Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar but his staff did not get him through to the CJ.

The chief justice, during the final hearing of suo motu case of Zainab’s murder, had asked Mr Ansari to feel free to call him in case of any complaint.

On Feb 17, an anti-terrorism court had awarded death sentence on four counts to Ali following a four-day trial conducted in the central jail. The convict was also separately given life imprisonment and a seven-year jail term in addition to the death penalty.

The trial court had handed down the punishment on the basis of forensic, material and circumstantial evidences presented by the prosecution in addition to the confession made by Imran.

The convict had initially denied the charges against him and opted to contest the trial, however, he pleaded guilty the next day. The court had provided him with a state counsel after his private counsel refused to further defend him following the confession.

Published in Dawn, March 6th, 2018