RAWALPINDI: The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Thursday dismissed petitions filed against death sentences handed down to three men in terrorism cases, saying the court lacks jurisdiction to hear pleas against military court verdicts.
A division bench comprising Justice Abdul Sami Khan and Justice Shahid Mahmood Abbasi dismissed the petitions without issuing notices to respondents. The petitions were filed against death penalties given to Muhammad Ghauri, Abdul Qayyum, and Said Zaman.
The bench observed that the high court could not hear the pleas under Article 199 of the Constitution.
Advocate Inamur Rahim had filed the petitions, arguing that proper procedure had not been followed while trying and convicting the three men.
Momina Bibi, mother of Zaman, had petitioned the high court that her son had been given death sentence by a military court but the authorities did not inform her about the charges levelled against him. She said proper legal procedure was not followed.
In an identical petition, Javaid Iqbal Ghauri pleaded that his son, Ghauri, a student, went missing from Islamabad in 2010. He said that in 2012, he was informed that his son was in custody of intelligence agencies and was being kept in an internment centre. He noted that in 2012 he met his son, who had become physically disabled. He informed the court that on January 1, 2016 he was informed that his son had been sentenced to death. The petitioner said he was not aware of the whereabouts of his son.
Kalsoom Bibi, the wife of Qayyum, in her petition said her husband went missing in 2010. She said that in 2012, she learnt that her husband was in the custody of intelligence agencies. She said a military court had sentenced her husband to death and she was not aware of the charges levelled against him.
Advocate Rahim said the petitioners on January 4, 2016, wrote letters to military authorities asking for copies of the charge sheets against the three men.
Commenting on the LHC decision, he said the court had observed that the petitioners had failed to point out legal or procedural shortcomings in the trials carried out by military courts. The lawyer said the petitioners had no information about the charges against the three men or of trial proceedings.
He added that he would challenge the decision in the Supreme Court.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 29th, 2016.