SC hears death-row convict’s plea today

A three-judge bench headed by Justice Gulzar Ahmed will take up the case

Hasnaat Malik January 02, 2019
Supreme Court of Pakistan - PHOTO: AFP

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court is set to take up jail petition of a convict today (Thursday) who is in death cell for the last 18 years in Sukkur Jail.

A three-judge bench headed by Justice Gulzar Ahmad, and comprising Justice Qazi Faez Isa and Justice Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel, will take up the case wherein Aysha Tasneem will appear on behalf of the applicant.

Jamal Khan was convicted in March 2001 by the special court in Karachi in the offence of under section 302 (b) PPC, his age was almost 19 at that time. In the same year, he was shifted to death cell of Sukkur Jail. Subsequently, Jamal’s conviction was upheld by Sindh High Court in November 2002.

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“In 2017, I received a letter from my client namely Tariq Rajpoot, who is also a death row prisoner in Sukkur Jail, that his fellow Jamal Khan is unaware about the fate of his jail petition as he is in the death cell since 2000/01. Upon this, I contacted the SC’s criminal branch to know the status of his plea. However, it was found that [SC] did not receive any jail petition on his behalf,” says Aysha Tasneem, who is pursuing jail petitions on behalf of convicted persons in the apex court for last couple of years.

Later, Sukkur Jail authorities claimed that Khan’s jail petition was sent to the apex court in 2006 but the SC registrar office said that no jail petition was received on behalf of the convicted person.

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Finally, Advocate Tasneem again contacted death row prisoner Khan in Sukkur Jail to move fresh jail application in the top court, which was entertained by the SC office on December 26, 2017.

However, the hearing could not be fixed because the police did not submit the record of the case.

After receiving police record, the top court had fixed hearing of the case today (Thursday).

The legal experts believe that though, the performance of superior judiciary is laudable to end the criminal cases as well as providing justice to poor litigants, there are areas where the executive has yet to take steps to end the miseries of poor litigants.

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