Dropping of terror charge: Ministry appeals IHC’s Mumtaz Qadri verdict

High court had set aside ATA conviction but upheld death penalty under 302

Hasnaat Malik April 09, 2015

ISLAMABAD: The federal government has challenged the Islamabad High Court’s verdict to drop charges of terrorism against Mumtaz Qadri, the self-confessed murderer of former Punjab Governor Salman Taseer.

A senior official of the federal government has revealed to The Express Tribune that the interior ministry has moved an appeal against the IHC’s March 9 judgment, wherein charges of terrorism against Mumtaz Qadri have been omitted.

The IHC’s division bench comprising Justice Noorul Haq N Qureshi and Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui set aside his conviction under section 7 of the ATA but upheld the death sentence under 302 of the PPC. This means that Qadri is guilty of murder but not terrorism.

The IHC has found that none of the prosecution witnesses (barring one), and neither the investigating officer nor the prosecution evidence, suggested that Qadri’s act amounted to an attempt to create panic, intimidate and terrorize the public, or to create a sense of fear and insecurity among the public.

The law officer contends that the federal government has strong reservation over the high court’s findings to set aside the terrorism charges against Qadri, adding that terrorism is itself defined in Anti terrorism Act 1997.

However, the interior ministry on Wednesday moved an application in the apex court, requesting to give seven days time to file a proper appeal along with paper books in this case. Under the Supreme Court’s rule, the appeal should be filed within 30 days. The one month duration ends on April 9.

The federal government also faced embarrassment on Wednesday, when an Advocate on Record namely Safdar Hussain Shah refused to file the interior ministry’s application in this matter because he is against the awardof death penalty to Mumtaz Qadri. Later on, the federal government engaged another AOR namely Sadiq Baloch to file the application. The application for seeking time has been filed in late hours.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 9th, 2015.


Zubair | 9 years ago | Reply @Muhammad: So as per your reason or logic, all the people who have accused others of crimes, should take law into their hands as the law enforrcing agencies are weak/improperly doing their job....You are supporting street justice man!!!
Muhammad | 9 years ago | Reply Sir Malik Muhammad Mumtaz Qadri is our pride and whatever he did would not have been done if law enforcement agencies would have taken action against Taseer. From this act of bravery so called liberal community came back to their limits specially on mass electronic media. No one has right to call any Islamic law as a black law and even if someone has some reservation they should keep their words in limits and should know their limitations while speaking about religion.
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