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Stay orders against hanging of three convicts lapse

June 30, 2012

KARACHI, June 30: With stay orders deferring the hanging of three condemned prisoners having lapsed, jail authorities are set to approach an anti-terrorism court to get a fresh date for their execution, it emerged on Saturday.

The three condemned prisoners — Attaullah alias Qasim and Mohammad Azam alias Sharif of the banned Lashkar-i-Jhangvi and Behram Khan — were sentenced to death in two murder cases.

The LJ men were sentenced to death in 2004 for killing a doctor while Behram Khan received capital punishment in 2003 for murdering a lawyer.

The appeals of the convicts and their mercy petitions have been dismissed by the superior judiciary and the president, respectively.

The Anti-Terrorism Court-III had on June 11 issued black warrants for the two LJ men and fixed June 26 for their execution.

However, the hanging was deferred till June 30 as the convicts filed a plea for a possible compromise with the heir of the doctor while the presidency also issued a stay order in this regard.

The black warrant for Behram was issued by the same ATC on May 10 and May 23 was fixed for his execution.

However, it has been postponed a number of times following stay orders issued by the presidency.

The last stay order was valid till June 30.

Jail authorities have not intimated the ATC about any further stay in any of the case, which meant that the stay orders stand lapsed on Saturday midnight.

Karachi central prison’s deputy superintendent Raja Mumtaz told Dawn that they had not received any further stay order in either case.

He said that a condemned prisoner could not be executed on holidays.

He said that the jail authorities would approach the trial court to issue a fresh date for hangings.

According to the prosecution, the LJ militants gunned down Dr Ali Raza Peerani on sectarian grounds in June 2001 in Soldier Bazaar when he came out of his clinic and was about to leave in his car.

The convicts along with their alleged chief Akram Lahori were arrested on June 29, 2002 within the remit of the Defence police station in three cases and during the interrogation they disclosed their involvement in the Dr Peerani case, it added.

Behram killed Advocate Mohammad Ashraf on April 15, 2003 in a courtroom of the Sindh High Court.

The prosecution said that Behram and Sub-Inspector Pir Bux had actually come to kill Advocate Qurban Ali Chauhan, who was the attorney for the accused in a murder case, but killed Ashraf as the killers did not recognise Qurban. Pir Bux was jailed for life in the case.