LAHORE: A Lahore High Court single bench on Thursday referred a petition to a division bench to decide whether convict in Zainab’s rape-cum-murder case should be hanged publicly.

Justice Muhammad Anwarul Haq was hearing a petition moved by father of Zainab demanding public hanging of Imran Ali, the convict.

The judge observed that a division bench should decide the matter since the convict had been sentenced under the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997. Therefore, the judge referred the petition to the chief justice for its fixation before division bench.

Zainab’s father Amin Ansari had contended through counsel that appeals of the convict stood dismissed by all legal forums including the high court and the Supreme Court. He said section 22 of the Anti-Terrorism Act 1997 empowered the government to hang a convict publicly.

The counsel requested the court to order the government to ensure that the convict was hanged publicly to satisfy the requirement of deterrence in society.

An anti-terrorism court had on Feb 17, 2018 awarded death sentence on four counts to Imran Ali following a four-day trial conducted in the Kot Lakhpat central jail. The convict was also separately given life imprisonment and a seven-year jail term in addition to the death penalty. The LHC and the SC had dismissed his appeals against the sentence.

Published in Dawn, June 29th, 2018