HYDERABAD: A division bench of the Sindh High Court, Hyderabad circuit, on Thursday set aside capital punishment awarded to two persons by a trial court in a double murder case.
The order was passed by the bench comprising Justice Mohammad Iqbal Kalhoro and Justice Adnan-ul-Karim Memon on a criminal appeal filed by the convicts, Ali Nawaz Chandio and Ali Hassan Chandio, through Advocate Ahsan Gul Dahiri.
The court ordered immediate release of Ali Nawaz Chandio if he was not required in any other case. The case of Ali Hassan Chandio was remanded back to the trial court, which was given one month’s time to decide it.
In its short order, the bench noted that the “statement of accused Hassan alias Ali Hassan under section 342 CrPC afresh would be recorded by putting all incriminating pieces of evidence which were deposed against him by prosecution witnesses for seeking his explanation thereto and then after affording an opportunity of hearing to both parties decide the case”.
The bench would record detailed reasons later on but passed a short order to dispose of the joint appeal.
The two Chandios were sentenced to death on Feb 21, 2012 in a case pertaining to the murder of Punhal Chandio and Zahra, daughter of Ameer Bux, who were allegedly killed in the name of honour. The victims were gunned down in Rawat Chandio village, falling within the limits of the Qazi Ahmed police station, on June 26, 2007.
Punhal’s mother, Ms Haleema, had lodged the case. Her witnesses were her son-in-law, Ghulam Sarwar, and brother, Abdul Hameed. She was represented by Advocate Razia Gul.
The defence counsel contended that the prosecution’s case was hit by serious discrepancies and conflicting statements. He pointed out that there were no eyewitnesses to the incident and there were also conflicting statements that were recorded.
He submitted that the testimonies of Abdul Hameed and Ghulam Sarwar did not tally with each other.
He added that the tapedar concerned had mentioned in his statement that the distance between the crime scene and Punhal’s house was one kilometre and that he had measured it while Ms Haleema put it at four acres.
Payment of pension to petitioner ordered
The same bench while hearing a retired assistant professor’s petition ordered the education secretary to ensure payment of pension to her within the next 10 days, APP adds.
The petition was filed by retired assistant professor Nawabzadi Khoso.
The bench gave 10 days to the education and finance departments for disbursement of her pension failing which, it said, warrants for the arrest of education secretary would be issued.
The petitioner had submitted in court that she had retired in 2012 but was not being paid pension since then. She said that her matter was being delayed for one or the other reason for six years.
The bench observed that denial of pension to entitled people was a violation of the relevant order of the apex court.
Published in Dawn, February 1st, 2019