By: Hasnaat Malik
ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court has declared that honour killing is not a case of terrorism, setting aside an order passed by the Balochistan High Court’s (BHC) order.
In 2012, the court ruled that all cases of honour killing were to be tried under the Anti-Terrorism Act 1997. Later, the verdict was challenged in the apex court. A three-judge bench, headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa, set aside the BHC judgment.
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The top court in its four-page judgment noted that the BHC had not appreciated that any action falling within any of the categories of cases mentioned in sub section 2 of section 6 of Anti-Terrorism Act 1997 (ATA) could not be accepted or termed as ‘terrorism’ unless the said action was accompanied by a ‘design’ or ‘purpose’ specified in the said act”.
The SC held that if the interpretation of section 6 (2) (g) of ATA 1997 advanced by the high court were to be accepted as correct then all cases of a person taking the law in his own hands were to be declared or accepted as cases of terrorism. “..But that surely was not the intention of the legislature,” it said.
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The SC bench noted that the scheme of section 6 of ATA 1997 was not properly considered by the BHC. “We have every reason to declare that the said judgment passed by the BHC had not laid down the law correctly and had in fact misconceived the legal position contemplated by section 6 of the ATA 1997,” it added.