PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court on Wednesday suspended the prison sentences of three men convicted for transporting weapons and directed a lower court to conduct a retrial.
The order was issued by a division bench comprising Justice Qaiser Rashid Khan and Justice Asadullah Khan Chamkani while hearing an appeal filed by the convicts – Wajid, Ghulam Mohammad and Atif.
Abdul Fayaz Khan, counsel for the convicts, told the court Badabher police had intercepted his clients at a check post on April 3, 2014. According to an FIR registered against them, police recovered 24 repeater rifles, four AK-47s, 45 pistols and 50,000 rounds of ammunitions from their vehicle. All three men were arrested on charges of transporting weapons.
According to Abdul Fayaz, the police had alleged the arms were to be used for terrorist activities.
“They were charged under Sections 15 and 17 of the Arms and Ammunition Act and Section 7 of the Anti-terrorism Act (ATA),” the counsel said. Abdul Fayaz added the police incorrectly inserted the provision from ATA in the FIR.
“The sentences, which were issued by the anti-terrorism court, are against the law because the case falls under the judicial magistrate court,” he maintained.
After hearing the arguments, the court suspended the prison sentences of 14 years for each of the convicts and ordered a retrial. Furthermore, the high court also removed the provision from the ATA and referred the case to a lower court.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 2nd, 2015.