PAKISTAN: SC MOVED AGAINST DEATH PENALTY LAW
August 7, 2012: In Pakistan, an application on behalf of the Watan Party was moved in the Supreme Courtâ€™s Lahore Registry for early hearing of a petition requesting abolition of death penalty for it being in violation of the constitution.
The petitionerâ€™s counsel, Barrister Zafarullah, requested the court to fix the main petition for early hearing. In the main petition, the petitioner had stated that use of death penalty was not only unconstitutional but also cruel.
He had pointed out that due to the prevailing corruption in society, the chances of innocent people becoming victims of such a law were high. The petition had also stated that out of 213 countries of the world, only 68 were in favour of death penalty. It had further said that Pakistan was constitutionally a democratic country, where the majority believed that the purpose of the constitution was to provide the people safety and welfare.
The petitioner said that it was beyond doubt that there were many miscreants and violators of the law, but their behaviour needed to be regulated by punishments, instead of terminating their lives. He stated that the right to life was a natural right embodied in the Article 9 of the constitution, whereas death penalty was unnatural termination of life, therefore it was incompatible with the concept of right to life.
He further said that the leaders who had drafted the 1973 Constitution were aware of the abolition of death penalty in many countries, particularly England, whose legal system we had adopted.
He also mentioned the case of former president and prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, who was hanged in 1979 and a presidential reference was recently moved in the Supreme Court to reopen the case. (Sources: dailytimes.com.pk, 07/08/2012)