‘Blood money’ explained

Published: March 17, 2011
The payment of Diyat made to the victims’ legal heirs is according to laws laid out in the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC).

The payment of Diyat made to the victims’ legal heirs is according to laws laid out in the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC).


The payment of Diyat (compensation/blood money) made to the victims’ legal heirs in the Raymond Davis case is according to laws laid out in the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC).

“Diyat basically relates to a ‘compromise’ between the accused and the heirs of the victim,” explained a lawyer who asked not to be named.

Based on the Quran and Sunnah, and the financial position of the accused and that of the victim’s heirs, the minimum Diyat payment is the value of 30.6 kilogrammes of silver. According to the current market prices of silver, the Diyat payment for the heirs of each victim would be a minimum of nearly Rs2.7 million.

The process of paying compensation starts with an  application that the victim’s legal heirs have to give in court. Lawyers said the application usually states that they have waived their right to Qisas (punishment) and have ‘forgiven the accused in the name of Allah’ or have ‘exonerated the accused in view of the provisions of Shariah’.

Following this, the judge asks the legal heirs to be present and asks the accused as well as the legal heirs whether the process can go ahead. The court does not need to be told about the exact amount paid.

Criminal lawyer Zulfiqar Abbas Naqvi said the court’s job is to check that the application is in order and all the legal heirs are listed properly.

Naqvi also pointed to Section 311 of the PPC, which states that if the court considers that the principle of Fasad-Fil-Arz applies, or if all the heirs do not waive the right to Qisas, the court can sentence a person to 14 years of imprisonment.

However, Fasad-Fil-Arz takes into account “the past conduct of the offender, or whether he has any previous convictions, or the brutal or shocking manner in which the offence has been committed which is outrageous to the public conscience, or if the offender is considered a potential danger to the community [or if the offence has been committed in the name or on the pretext of honour].”

Naqvi explained that this applies in cases where the crime has spread a sense of fear and terror in the community. He said that even if a Diyat application has been submitted, the court can say Fasad-Fil-Arz applies and sentence the accused.

Raymond Davis was indicted on Wednesday morning and by the evening, reports emerged that the compensation payment had been made. A criminal lawyer with 15 years of experience, who spoke on condition of anonymity, expressed amazement at the speed at which the Diyat application and payment was made in Davis’ case.

According to the lawyer, the process takes a considerable amount of time and does not happen within a day, as has happened in Davis’ case, after he was indicted.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 17th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (16)

  • Mar 17, 2011 - 9:17AM

    Here is not problem with the law. Problem is with the way they use it.

    No one denied to pressure on victim family.. Under this how this law will respond. and second, the faheem`s window already reject that proposal.. what the value of her statement?Recommend

  • Mar 17, 2011 - 11:56AM

    this gives the story of betraying & selling your loved ones for 30 pieces of silver a whole new meaning!Recommend

  • Billoo Bhaya
    Mar 17, 2011 - 12:16PM

    You hit the nail right on the Head.Recommend

    Mar 17, 2011 - 12:32PM

    This is Sick! How pathetic Indeed.Recommend

  • Eeman
    Mar 17, 2011 - 12:37PM

    Everything happens with in a day when the party involves is almighty U.S. Recommend

  • Yahya
    Mar 17, 2011 - 12:55PM

    I feel ashamed for calling myself a Pakistani. Again and again we have proven this notion that this nation can sell anyone for the love of money even if its their mother, father, wife, girl friend or children.

    Unfortunately, the only possible solution is to dismantle army and better to accept Indian superiority over Pakistan in all walks of life. Its the army and crook leadership that is responsible for all fuss going in the country. Democracy is a fail concept in Pakistan and its fundamentals should be revised by only allowing educated citizens to vote. This will help in bringing better leadership and will increase literacy rate of Pakistan.Recommend

  • Dee
    Mar 17, 2011 - 2:31PM

    @yayaha..everyone knows who you are..so stop pretending..secondly try to poke ur head in indian laws and see that india even has islamic law. Secondly Pakistan is far ahead when it comes to law, check into your statistics of corruption, the applicability of law and the pathetic caste syste in availing all employement opportunities. so stop nudging us and have a look at you own ‘mining’ India.Recommend

  • farhan aziz
    Mar 17, 2011 - 2:54PM

    this law needs to be repealed.it’s used by rapists & murderers to get away with murder & paedophilia,rape a child ,then bribe his/her family & you’ll get away with your crime thanks to “diyat”.
    how can the perpetrator be allowed to get away with his crime by buying off the victim’s family?? that is just sick!!!Recommend

  • adeel shams
    Mar 17, 2011 - 2:57PM

    the greedy family of both the dead guys sold the country down the drain.The mother & brothers of the dead men were on tv for a month screaming against the “amreekans” who had cruelly murdered their children but now they all stood in court & one by one pardoned him by taking his money.

    Why no condemnation of these hypocrites who first spewed hatred against the americans & now have accepted nationalities of the very country that murdered their sons !!!!Recommend

  • abdul rafay
    Mar 17, 2011 - 2:59PM

    once again diyat law has allowed a murderer to get away.the diyat & qisas laws have been used by rapists,paedophiles & killers to get away with their horrific crimes,it’s time we take the blindfold of religion off our eyes & started to use our brains for a change.

    What’s wrong is wrong & should be condemned as such,not accepted because it has religious sanction.Recommend

  • Chosus Makavelli
    Mar 17, 2011 - 3:21PM

    **Stop whinging you guys.

    End of the day this is an islamic law, lenghty prison sentences do nothing but mentally destroy the convicted, not rehabilitate them.

    The victims families suffer the loss, not you, and thye decide wether or not to accept a compensation for the loss of family member.

    its not a matter of putting a price on your families members heads, since they didnt sell them, the compensation – wether you like it or noe – will make life easire for the grieving family, being involved with a lenghty court case and hanging Davis will not help them in reality, and it makes a change to humanity when people can forgive without having to kill someone.

    Dnt get me wrong i wanted to see justice, a part of me wanted to see davis hanged, but its up to the victims families, not me, not you, and not judge judy either.


  • Abdul Wazir
    Mar 17, 2011 - 6:50PM

    Lots of points to ponder on:
    Raymond Davis charged for murder, illegally carrying wepons and espionage or spying which is a very serious crime.
    a) Murder: because of blood money is wrong because same priviledge is not given to poor people only rich can escape with this law. Sharia is wrong here.
    b) Illegally carrying weapons: whats happened to this case why was he released without any charge
    c) Espionage or spying: God save Pakistan from its army. Isn’t it the army’s duty to produce evidence if they had any and charge him appropriately.
    Mystery: Where is the judge who released Raymond Davis gone? for vacation or hiding? Has he been given green card as well
    Shame: Relatives of the victims have shamed the whole of pakistan or were they forced to sign papers. Why did they leave Pakistan without giving a statement?
    Solution: Bring the country to a standstill ..not just for a day but at least a month. Bring the government and army to its knees. Force them to apologise to our nation and this particularly includes ppp and pml-n. They deceived the country now they need to bring Afia back till then we won’t rest in peace.
    Shutterdown strike !!! will you guys all join me starting from this friday.Recommend

  • Jeannie
    Mar 17, 2011 - 11:07PM

    First of all, this gentleman had “Diplomatic Immunity” which means he should have been allowed to leave the country. Secondly and obviously these were “thugs” he killed in self defense. What kind of country does not follow International laws? What kind of country allows people to leave the country after they havae to pay “blood money” to the greedy relatives? The U.S. GIVES Pakistan billions of dollars each year. It’s time to withdraw our giveaway money and let them go back to the fourth century! Upset citizen of the great U.S.Recommend

  • LOL
    Mar 18, 2011 - 12:50AM

    @ Dee – Pakistan has more law? What does that mean? There are more laws written on paper in Pakistan? Who cares. Pakistan is a lawless country.

    This kind of implementation of Sharia makes Pakistan look like a joke. Go fix your country and stop complaining about others’ problems.Recommend

  • Vin
    Mar 18, 2011 - 2:37AM

    Write a book….
    “From Gandhara Civilization To Wahabism – The Fall Of A Great Civilization”Recommend

  • Hamza
    Mar 18, 2011 - 3:42AM

    @Jeannie: it seems like you’ve been reading stories on CNN and Fox news, the main reason he was being held was because according to the Americas(YOU) he had diplomatic immunity not according to the records of our foreign office or the government of Pakistan. Despite some of the aid that you guys give, we are the ones who fight for you so that NATO forces can be safe in Afghanistan, so that their supplies can pass through Pakistan. All this is done because a Pakistani soldier costs cheaper then an American soldier.Recommend

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