The Lahore High Court (LHC) chief justice on Tuesday gave the federal government till September 20 to file its reply on an application asking for suspension of the death sentence of Indian spy Sarabjit Singh.
Advocate Awais Sheikh had filed the application and sought court’s permission to become party in a petition against a possible presidential pardon for Singh, who is on death row for killing 14 people in bomb blasts in Lahore and Multan in 1990. The court provided a copy of Singh’s application to a deputy attorney general.
The LHC is also hearing a petition filed by Advocate Rana Ilmuddin Ghazi requesting for a direction to the government for Singh’s early execution.
Advocate Sheikh said he had proof of Singh’s innocence.
He said an appeal against Singh’s conviction was lying with the president. The execution of the sentence should be suspended till a decision had been made on the appeal.
Advocate Ghazi had submitted that Sarabjit was awarded a death sentence by the trial court and the High Court and the Supreme Court had rejected his appeals. He pointed out that even the then president had dismissed his mercy petition.
He also said president cannot exercise his power under Article 45 of the Constitution without the consent of legal heirs of the people who were killed in the two bomb blasts.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 3rd, 2011.