Mumtaz Qadri's case cannot be transferred to military court: IHC

Published: February 3, 2015
Email
During the proceeding, Qadri's supporters gathered outside the court to express solidarity. PHOTO: AFP

During the proceeding, Qadri's supporters gathered outside the court to express solidarity. PHOTO: AFP

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Tuesday observed that the case of former Punjab governor’s self-confessed killer Mumtaz Qadri cannot be transferred to a military court.

While addressing Qadri’s counsel, who expressed concerns over the government’s reported plans for transferring the case to a military court, Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui of IHC said, “You came in for an appeal [to high court], the sentence has already been awarded by the trial court, therefore the case can not be transferred to a military court.

“This is a very important matter and all parties will be given equal opportunity,” Justice Siddiqui added.

With heavy contingents of police and Rangers outside, the small court room No2 of IHC was overflowing with Qadri’s army of lawyers and supporters as a two-member bench comprising Justice Noorul Haq Qureshi and Justice Siddiqui resumed hearings after three years.

The observation by IHC came after Qadri’s counsel Justice (retd) Mian Nazir Akhtar requested the court to restrain the government from transferring the case to a military court.

During the course of Tuesday’s hearing, former Chief Justice Lahore High Court (LHC) Khawaja Muhammad Sharif, who is also representing Qadri, argued that his client’s confessional statement had been recorded by the then assistant commissioner (AC) Chaudhry Muhammad Ali under oath, which is illegal.

While pointing out legal loopholes from the prosecution side, Sharif argued that his client had no criminal background and had no enmity with Taseer.

He also stated that police failed to record the statement of Waqas Khan, an important witness and friend of former governor, who was accompanying the governor when they had the last lunch together in Kohsar Market.

“The prosecution in this case did not fulfill some legal formalities during trial as it did not record the statement of Waqas,” the counsel argued, pointing out that at the time of the incident, Waqas was with former Governor.

The counsel informed the court that there were total 43 witnesses in this case, however statements of only 14 witnesses had been recorded. Further, a formal FIR was registered quite late.

On the other hand, Advocate General Islamabad Mian Abdur Rauf informed the court that they have issued notices to the legal heirs of the deceased governor but none of them have appeared. On this occasion, the counsel for Qadri claimed that legal heirs of Taseer have no interest in this case.

The case was adjourned till Wednesday.

Separately, Qadri’s counsel requested the court to move hearings of the case to court no-3, which is bigger than court no 2, for which the bench said it would need to seek permission from the Chief Justice of IHC.

Qadri had been sentenced to death, twice, by Rawalpindi Anti-Terror Judge Syed Pervez Ali Shah on October 1, 2011, after ten months of proceedings in Adiala Jail.  Qadri was booked under sections 7 of the Anti Terrorism Act and 302/109 of the Pakistan Penal Code on the complaint of Taseer’s son Shehryar Taseer in an FIR registered at the Kohsar police station.

Facebook Conversations

Reader Comments (17)

  • a&a
    Feb 3, 2015 - 10:43PM

    Where is Judge Parvaiz Ali Shah, is he alive or dead?

    Recommend

  • Jawad U Rahman
    Feb 3, 2015 - 10:46PM

    What should we expect from Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui? For years, he honed his legal skills as the lead counsel for Abdul Aziz of Lal Masjid. He knows first hand all the loopholes to lead this Ghazi Mumtaz Qadri out of his legal troubles too. It is just a matter of time.

    Recommend

  • Mohammad Ali Siddiqui
    Feb 3, 2015 - 11:48PM

    Justice Shaukat Ali Siddiqui was right in saying that “the sentence has already been awarded by the trial court, therefore the case can not be transferred to a military court”.

    The argument of Qadri’s counsel Mian Nazir Akhter that his client’s confessional statement had been recorded by the then assistant commissioner (AC) Chaudhry Muhammad Ali under oath, which is illegal” and “his client had no criminal background and had no enmity with Taseer” are not solid arguments which can convince the judge for pardoning and to set him free from Taseer’s murder case.

    Had Waqas Khan’s statement who was a friend of former governor and who was also accompanying the governor when they had the last lunch together in Kohsar Market would have been recorded, he would have also narrated the same statement that Qadri killed Taseer.

    If Waqas Khan’s statement was not recorded at the time of murder of Taseer, it can be recorded now as the court is fully empowered to summon Waqas Khan to come forward and record his statement at the Islamabad High Court on the next date of hearing.

    If Taseer’s family did not appeared on the hearing date, it does not mean that they have no interest in the case. In fact they would have not appeared due to the fear that Qadri’s supporters may also try to kill them outside the court being the deceased family.

    The former Governor of Punjab Salman Taseer did not committed blasphemy due to which he was killed. He just spoke about bringing reforms and it was not sure whether those reforms would have taken place and been approved by the then Punjab Assembly.

    Qadri’s case is very simple. It was a murder of a Muslim committed by another fanatic Muslim called Qadri.

    Had this would have happened in Saudi Arabia from where Islam spreaded in every nook and corner of the world, Qadri would have been beheaded long time back, but some fanatics and like minded Pakistanis have made Qadri a hero in Pakistan, which majority of the people in the country did not like.

    If the judgement have already been passed by the IHC, then I don’t see any reason that Qadri should remain alive any more and should be sent to gallows like 22 other fanatic murderers have been hanged till today morning.

    Recommend

  • KafirMusafir
    Feb 4, 2015 - 12:50AM

    @Mohammad Ali Siddiqui: Sir, you are writing and making your case like a scholar and a gentleman in your comment. I commend your intellect, your plain-speak common sense, and just what any sane and reasonable person anywhere in the world (barring the Muslim countries) would say about exactly quoting you; “Qadri’s case is very simple. It was a murder of a Muslim committed by another fanatic Muslim called Qadri.” But the great question is how many people in Pakistan think like you? and how many people have sympathies and harbor in their heart and mind fanaticism like the murderer Qadri?

    Recommend

  • KK Kool
    Feb 4, 2015 - 1:00AM

    Let me remind his Highness Khawaja Muhammad Sharif Shahab he killed governor in broad day light. You defend him today, get him out of punishment row and tomorrow someone else is going to take his path. Don’t know if you would the then victim or anyone else. We must not, as a society, encourage such elements by defending them. He killed now he should have big heart to accept and face the punishment. He must not resort to coward behavior. This will make him a big hero then for his supporters.

    Recommend

  • Rumormonger
    Feb 4, 2015 - 1:21AM

    Even confessions do not bring prosecution. What an ideal justice system for criminals. No wonder all of them are moving to Pakistan.

    Recommend

  • numbersnumbers
    Feb 4, 2015 - 1:42AM

    @Mohammad Ali Siddiqui:
    I would also note that the OTHER guards assigned to protect Taseer observed the murder first hand, and all should have had their statements recorded about the incident!

    Recommend

  • Waseem
    Feb 4, 2015 - 3:08AM

    IHC role is over (masses don’t trust them), military courts role (masses hope justice from them) starts immediately to handle cases like these.

    Recommend

  • Aly Shah
    Feb 4, 2015 - 3:15AM

    Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui has been pictured previously showing his love for Mumtaz Qadri and the task he achieved. Isn’t there something about judge not hearing to cases with personal attachment? This mindset is living in our society. I’m ashamed today.

    Recommend

  • Anticorruption
    Feb 4, 2015 - 4:08AM

    Why is the court wasting so much time listening to all these whitnesses when Qadri has openly admited that he killed Taseer? Isn’t it a straightforward 5 minute case. The murderer Qadri needs to be punished and the whitnesses are all a waste of time

    Recommend

  • Ashfaq11
    Feb 4, 2015 - 4:42AM

    This just proves our justice system is a farce when a crime committed in plain sight takes such a long time to reach justice and closure. Judges are scared and lawyers want to drag cases for their own interest. That’s why all black & white terrorism & heinous crime cases should be dealt with military courts while the country is going through crises and until judges grow a spine to take bold decisions

    Recommend

  • Feb 4, 2015 - 8:32AM

    What a joke? Another way save a murderer. Pakistani terrorism in ACTION.

    Recommend

  • Malik
    Feb 4, 2015 - 9:39AM

    Mumtaz Qadri should have willingly accepted to meet his Maker, and those who support and believe that he acted correctly must assist him, instead of creating hurdles. This is murderer who must be executed just like any other criminal. The sooner the better. His was an act of terrorism.

    Recommend

  • Arshad
    Feb 4, 2015 - 9:41AM

    This is the mother of all terrorist acts committed in the name of religion,where a guard has murdered whom he was supposed to guard. If this cannot be tried in millitary court, then what for are the millitary courts? All else is hoax

    Recommend

  • Feb 4, 2015 - 10:59AM

    Dipak@Malik: this is the problem of religion supported by Army and Mullahs to destroy the country for self luxurious life.

    Recommend

  • Fawad
    Feb 4, 2015 - 12:47PM

    Justice Syed Pervez Ali Shah who awarded death punishment to Qadri, risking his own life for justice, is my hero. A ray of hope in this country.

    Recommend

  • PAkistani
    Feb 6, 2015 - 3:23AM

    A few machine guns and tanks can fix the mob problem.These mullahs and religious fanatics need to know just how powerful the Pakistani state is.

    Recommend

More in Pakistan