Offence in terrorism cases to remain non-compoundable: SC – Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: In a ruling that would have far-reaching consequences, the Supreme Court said Friday that terrorism cases would remain uncomplicated, even if the aggrieved parties forgive the fault of a criminal in another less atrocious crime committed simultaneously.

In the 27-page verdict, the main court defined a detailed guideline that must be followed in the coming days on how to deal with non-aggravable crimes under the Anti-Terrorist Act (ATA) of 1997, when other coordinated compound crimes were also committed. engaged at the same time.

The ruling, announced at a public hearing by a larger court of seven judges, answered a series of questions explaining the effect of the combination of a coordinated compound crime on a non-aggravated crime of terrorism. Written by the President of the Supreme Court Asif Saeed Khosa, the verdict also cited a series of sentences on the same question and noted that the answers to the dispute were already available but in a scattered manner.

In its 27-page verdict, the trial court details the guidelines for dealing with crime under the Anti-Terrorist Law

"Therefore, the new ruling is necessary to consolidate all available solutions," he explained while clarifying that the parties could not even invoke the original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court under Article 184 (3) or 187 (1) of the Constitution to reopen a case already concluded.

Previously, it was argued that the Supreme Court should address such matters in the exercise of its jurisdiction under these articles by reviewing the previous judgment to safeguard the interest of justice.

One of the questions raised by the Supreme Court itself during the course of the hearing was that a non-aggravable crime could be treated as an aggravating crime for acquittal if the relevant parties had aggravated a coordinated aggravated crime committed in the same case.

Judge Khosa explained in the verdict that the crime of non-aggravable terrorism was a crime different and independent of any other coordinated crime committed in the same case. "Therefore, it is hereby argued that a crime that the law declares not aggravable remains non-aggravable, even if in a coordinated aggravated crime there is a capitalization between the relevant parties," said the verdict.

Therefore, he added, despite any aggravation of the coordinated aggravated offense, an acquittal in the non-aggravated offense cannot be granted on that sole basis.

The next question is whether the sentence handed down in a non-aggravable crime can be reduced on the grounds that a coordinated aggravated crime committed in the same case had been aggravated by the relevant parties. The answer in the sentence was that consideration of the reduction of the sentence is at the discretion of the court that dealt with the matter and cannot be treated as automatic.

The third question was which of the courts would reduce the sentence regarding a non-aggravable crime. The Supreme Court explained that the trial court could reduce the sentence at the end of the trial.

"If the agreement between the parties reached in the combined offense coordinated at the stage of appeal or review before a higher court or the Supreme Court at the stage of appeal or petition for review, then a sentence for the reduction of the sentence passed by commission The non-serious crime can be raised before the court handles the pending matter.

"In the event that the Supreme Court has already issued a final order or judgment in an appeal, but so far a request for review has not been submitted, then the reduction of the sentence issued for the offense not aggravated by the aggravation of the composable coordinate crime by submitting a petition for review before the apex court, "the verdict explained.

Similarly, he said, if the recourse to submit a petition for review to the higher court had already been exhausted and there was no room for the submission of a second request for review or later, the only remedy for the reduction of the sentence approved by the non-aggravating crime commission would be to file a petition for mercy with the president. The president may, at his discretion, consider this aspect in light of the sentences handed down by the Supreme Court on the subject from time to time, according to the verdict.

If the appeal for a petition of mercy before the president has already been exhausted before the aggravation of the coordinated compound crime has occurred, after the acceptance of the commitment by the competent court with respect to the coordinated aggravated crime, the superintendent of the jail, after an initiative The convicted prisoner will send a new petition for mercy to the president, seeking a new consideration of the matter, according to the sentence.

When presented with such a request for such fresh piety, the president may, at his discretion, consider the matter of the sentence of the convicted prisoner again approved by the commission of the non-aggravable offense in the light of the sentences handed down by the court of first instance .

Posted on Dawn, October 12, 2019



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