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PHC halts execution of 'missing man' sentenced by military court


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Updated05/07/18  
DawnNews
The Peshawar High Court (PHC) during a hearing held on Thursday suspended the death sentence handed over by a military court to Shakirullah, a man who according to his family had gone missing from Dir in 2010.
A petition opposing the penalty had been moved before the court by the convict's wife following which a hearing was held to decide on the matter.
The session was presided by Justice Qalandar Ali Khan and Justice Ayub Khan.
In June this year, Shakirullah's family learnt of the death sentence after receiving a notice from the Kohat Interim Centre saying that he was due to be hanged. It is not known what crime he has been charged with.
According to the application, the accused was not given an opportunity to be heard in a proper trial, as the law mandates and is the right owed to every citizen charged with a crime.
The court ordered the suspension of the death sentence and sought a response from the ministry of defence at the next hearing of the case.
The Parliament passed the 21st Amendment and the Pakistan Army Act, 1952, in January 2015 to establish speedy trial military courts after the 2014 Army Public School massacre.
On April 16, 2015, the apex court suspended executions of six militants who were awarded death sentence by these military courts.
In August, that same year, the Supreme Court in a majority ruling upheld the establishment of military courts in Pakistan.
The Peshawar High Court (PHC) that same month, suspended the execution of a death-row prisoner, who had been arrested when he was 14 and sentenced to death by a military court after he was found to be involved in terrorism.
While dismissing petitions challenging the 21st Amendment, a 17-judge full court of the Supreme Court, in a majority judgment, had reaffirmed that any order passed, decision taken or sentence awarded by the military courts will be subject to judicial review by the high courts and the Supreme Court on the grounds of being coram-non-judice, without jurisdiction or suffering from mala fides including malice in law.
This year in May, the PHC suspended the death sentence handed to a man convicted for terrorism by a military court.
The army's media wing had announced that Chief of Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa had ratified the death sentences of 11 militants, including one identified as Burhanuddin. He was among three convicts sentenced to death for an attack on a civilian funeral service in Mardan, which resulted in the killing of 30 people, including Khyber Pakhtunkhwa MPA Mohmind, and left 100 others wounded.
Burhanuddin's father had claimed that his son was mentally unfit and had been undergoing treatment before and throughout the duration of his custody.



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