LAHORE: The Lahore High Court on Tuesday dismissed a petition seeking public hanging of Imran Ali, convicted of rape and murder of seven-year-old Zainab.
The father of the girl, Amin Ansari, had filed the petition which a division bench dismissed, ruling that it was the prerogative of the government to decide about the mode and place for execution of any sentence and the court could not interfere in an executive order.
The bench was headed by Justice Sardar Muhammad Shamim Khan and comprising Justice Syed Shahbaz Ali Rizvi. The petitioner’s counsel, Ishtiaq Chaudhry, said the girl’s father had filed an application to the government on June 20 for public hanging of the convict but the same was still pending without any decision on it.
A provincial law officer told the bench that death warrants of the convict had already been
issued for October 17 (today). He said the jail manual did not allow public hangings and the government had no time to make arrangements for the execution at a public place. He said the supreme court in a 1994 judgment had stopped public hanging. He said the hanging could be telecast live on televisions if not possible outside the jail. However, the law officer argued that the jail manual suggested no such permission.
The petitioner had contended that Section 22 of the Anti-Terrorism Act 1997 empowered the government to hang a convict publicly. However, he complained that the government was not complying with the law available on the subject. The petitioner asked the court to order the government to ensure that the convict is hanged publicly to satisfy the requirement of deterrence in the society. Previously, the high court on a similar petition by Mr Amin had referred the matter to the government.
An anti-terrorism court On October 12 had issued death warrants for the execution of Imran Ali for October 17 in the Kot Lakhpat jail. The court directed the jail superintendent to execute the warrants and submit a compliance report.