The Peshawar High Court on Monday set aside a death sentence awarded to a man in 2014 in a murder case. The court had earlier reserved its judgement in the case.
A division bench of Justice Qaiser Rashid Khan and Justice Asadullah Khan Chamkani made the decision while hearing the plea of Laiq Zaman, the murder convict. The bench announced setting aside of the sentence after the court heard from the defence and prosecution.
Applicant Laiq Zaman’s counsel Ishtiaq Ibrahim told the court the police arrested his client on August 1, 2012 from the jurisdiction of Topi police station in Swabi, and charged him under Section 302 of the Pakistan Penal Code for killing Nazeer Khan.
According to Ibrahim, police arrested Zaman for reportedly entering a men’s guest house and opening indiscriminate fire, killing Nazeer Khan. The lawyer said the incident occurred after the deceased and his client had an argument which escalated to violence.
In his client’s defence, Ibrahim said there were many flaws in the police investigation which weakened the case. There were no eye-witnesses of the incident who can narrate exactly what happened, he added.
“Prosecution witnesses whose statements were recorded during the trial of the accused also had contradictions in their statements,” Ibrahim said.
The counsel requested the court to set aside the death sentence given to Zaman.
Defending the sentence, the state’s counsel said the police confiscated arms from the accused and there was ample evidence to prove the case against Zaman.
According to him, the district and sessions judge in Swabi handed the death sentence to Zaman on September 8, 2014 after the court was convinced by the evidence and proofs presented by the prosecution.
The state counsel requested the court to uphold the death sentence as “the murderer does not deserve to be acquitted”.
Upon hearing from both sides, the court reserved its judgement and announced it was setting aside the death sentence.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 9th, 2015.
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