CJP hints at defining span of life term

Published: June 18, 2019
Chief Justice of Pakistan Asif Saeed Khosa PHOTO: FILE

Chief Justice of Pakistan Asif Saeed Khosa PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Asif Saeed Khosa has hinted at removing ambiguity in the law with regard to span of life imprisonment and said the Supreme Court will settle the matter ‘at an appropriate time’.

“The span of life imprisonment is regarded as limited to 25 years while it is meant to last a lifetime. The court would thoroughly interpret the law at an appropriate time. Once it happens, convicts will ask for a death sentence instead of life imprisonment,” Justice Khosa said on Monday.

The top judge was heading a three-judge bench also comprising Justice Sardar Tariq Masood and Justice Qazi Muhammad Amin Ahmed that heard review appeal of a death row convict, Abdul Qayyum.

The bench later rejected the review petition and maintained death sentence of Qayyum, who in 2001, killed a man in Karachi while snatching his car along with two accomplices.

During the course of proceedings, the CJP remarked that the current interpretation of life imprisonment law is flawed. Referring to judicial practice in India, the chief justice remarked that there life sentences are awarded while specifying period of imprisonment.
“In India, they clearly mention the number of years a convict has to stay in prison,” he added.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 18th, 2019.

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