The Peshawar High Court has accepted the appeal of renowned Pashto singer Ghazala Javed’s former husband, who challenged the double death sentence given to him by a court in Swat last year.
The writ petition was accepted by a division bench of Chief Justice Mian Fasihul Mulk and Justice Musarrat Hilali after the court was informed by petitioner Jehangir Khan’s counsel that there are conflicting reports over the evidence and witnesses produced before the court.
On June 18, 2012, Ghazala was shot dead along with her father in Mohallah Nuo, Dabgari, Peshawar, in the limits of Shah Qabool police station. Her younger sister Farhat Javed later filed an FIR with the police, accusing Jehangir and his friends Salam and Naseer of killing the two. She told police that Ghazala had a dispute with Jehangir, from whom she had sought divorce only six months after marriage. Salam and Naseer have been at large since the murder.
Jehangir was arrested on August 29, 2012 from his house, and on November 3, 2012 Peshawar district and sessions judge Shaibar Khan pressed charges against the suspect. The case was later transferred to Swat, after Javed’s family received threats.
The district and sessions judge in Swat, Muhammad Tariq Pervaiz Baloch, handed down death penalty twice to Jehangir on December 17, 2013.
The punishment was given on three counts, including twice execution till death under Section 302 of the Pakistan Penal Code, Rs50 million fine for two murders, and Rs20 million and Rs1 million fines with 10 years imprisonment for attempted murder.
Jehangir Khan said in his appeal on December 20, 2013 that there were many witnesses in his favour who had been sidelined and ignored in the decision by the court. He argued that the sentence of the district and sessions judge should be set aside in this case.
After hearing the preliminary arguments, the court accepted the petition for hearing.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 20th, 2014.