Pakistan court suspends execution of two convicts

Islamabad: The Sindh High Court (SHC) Monday suspended the black warrants of two convicts observing that proper legal procedures were not followed.

The suspension of the warrants came after the SHC heard appeals filed by the families of Muhammad Azam and Ataullah alias Abdullah, who were member of banned organisations, The News International reported.

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The appeals were heard by a bench headed by Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar. The advocate general of Sindh and superintendent of jails appeared during the proceedings.

Justice Ali asked the superintendent of jails, Sindh, if he was aware of changes made in the death penalty laws, adding that if he was aware the date of the execution is set seven days after the black warrant is issued. Justice Ali asked that since the black warrant was issued Dec 18, how was the execution date set for Dec 23, when it should have been Dec 26.

Justice Ali remarked that the government itself was making a mockery of the law and should follow the law and not its own will.

The lawyer for the families argued that a second review petition had been filed in the Supreme Court after all death penalty pleas had been dismissed.

He added that by issuing the warrants, the anti-terrorism court had ignored the review petition pending in the Supreme Court.

The appeals called for the warrants to be suspended until the Supreme Court reached a decision on the review petition.

The court has stated that fresh black warrants of these inmates should be issued in accordance with the law.