CJP forms larger bench to ascertain what constitutes as terrorism

March 20, 2019

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The definition of terrorism came under discussion while the court was hearing reviews petitions in "Sibtain versus the State" and "Fazal Bashir versus the State" cases. — APP/File
The definition of terrorism came under discussion while the court was hearing reviews petitions in "Sibtain versus the State" and "Fazal Bashir versus the State" cases. — APP/File

Chief Justice of Pakistan Asif Saeed Khosa on Wednesday formed a seven-member larger bench to ascertain the definition of "terrorism".

The larger bench, to be headed by the chief justice himself, will ascertain what constitutes an act of terrorism and what does not.

"Since 1997 it has not been established which cases fall under the terrorism," the top judge remarked before constituting the bench.

Read: How the Anti-Terrorism Act stole a lifetime from an innocent 16-year-old girl

The definition of terrorism came under discussion while the court was hearing reviews petitions in "Sibtain versus the State" and "Fazal Bashir versus the State" cases. The accused in the both the cases were charged under Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA), which deals with punishment for acts of terrorism.

The application of ATA clauses had also come under scrutiny last year when the Supreme Court had set aside capital punishment awarded by an an antiterrorism court to Asma Nawab and two others, mainly due to legal technicalities, in a 20-year-old case pertaining to killing of her parents and brother.