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PHC suspends conviction by military court

Updated September 18, 2018


PESHAWAR: A Peshawar High Court bench on Monday stayed execution of an alleged militant and suspended the sentence of death awarded to him by a military court on account of his involvement in multiple acts of terrorism.

Justice Ikramullah Khan and Justice Ayub Khan issued notices to the respondents including the interior secretary and head of Kohat internment centre seeking their viewpoint on a petition filed by a resident of Landi Kotal tehsil, Yar Wali, against the conviction of his son Mujahid by a military court for terrorism.

The next date of hearing into the petition will be fixed later.

The petitioner claimed that his son Mujahid had gone missing around six years ago after which his whereabouts were not known.

He added that the family members searched for the missing person but failed to trace him. The petitioner said few days ago the family learned by media reports that the man was convicted by a military court for terrorism and was sentenced to death.

He added that the man was currently kept at the Kohat internment centre. The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), media wing of Pakistan army, had issued a press release on Aug 16 wherein it had made public the conviction of 15 ‘terrorists’ by the military courts including the current detainee.

In the news release, the ISPR claimed that Mujahid was involved in the destruction of Government Boys and Girls Primary Schools, Sheikhmalkhel, Khyber Agency.

It added that Mujahid was also involved in causing death to a soldier and injuries to two others. Fazli Mula, lawyer for the petitioner, said his client’s son was neither involved in any illegal activity nor did he belong to any proscribed organisation.

He said the petitioner had not been informed about his son’s crime, conviction and place of trial, and time of his sentence.

The lawyer said all fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution were violated while sentencing the detainee, including protection of life, fair trial and representation through counsel of choice.

STRIKE OBSERVED: On the call of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Bar Council, the lawyers on Monday observed strike in Peshawar and other cities of the province against the Sept 15 firing incident at the Judicial Complex Peshawar.

The incident had left three persons, including senior lawyer Yousaf Riaz Khalil, injured.

The lawyers stayed away from proceedings in different courts including the Peshawar High Court and district courts.

The KP Bar Council demanded of the provincial government and police to provide security to lawyers and adopt foolproof security measures for all courts across the province.

It claimed that despite repeated requests of lawyers for better security checks, the firing incidents had frequently been taking place in different courts especially the Judicial Complex.

In a news release, the council said it was seeking proposals from bar associations on the matter and would adopt future course of action after examining them.

Published in Dawn, September 18th, 2018