ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court on Wednesday issued notice to the Attorney General of Pakistan to assist the court in 8526 prisoners' case, who are on death row for the last many years.
A two-judge bench headed by Justice Nasir ul Mulk and comprised Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali heard a constitutional petition filed by Dr Yaqoob Bhatti regarding 8526 prisoners on death row but were not executed so far.
Deputy Attorney General Sajid Ilyas Bhatti submitted a report of the Interior Ministry of June 26, 2013 and informed the court that the attorney general was in Karachi, therefore, could not appear.
Justice Nasir ul Mulk, however, told him that it was an important case as various issues have been raised in the instant petition, therefore, directed Attorney General to ensure his appearance in the instant case in the last week of May.
Barrister Zafrullah Khan, counsel for the petitioner, submitted that Articles 9, 13 and 14 of the Constitution are being violated in the instant case. He contended that more than 8526 prisoners were on death row and most of them have even completed life imprisonment but they have not been executed so far.
The petitioner had filed the petition in 2012, making federation of Pakistan, Ministry of Interior through its Secretary and Ministry of Law, Justice, Human Rights and Parliamentary Affairs as respondents.
The petitioner had also filed a Civil Miscellaneous Application in the instant petition by submitting additional documents requesting for consideration since these relates to the completion of life imprisonment pending executions which have also resulted into mental deterioration of prisoners to the extent losing their normal mental capacities due to inordinate and inexplicable delays.
He contended that in India there are only 400 persons who are on death row which is seven times larger in population and in Pakistan there were roughly 8526 on death row on murder and 450 prisoners on drug trafficking or manufacturing charges and last year in 2013, it had increased the death row population by 226 new prisoners.
The petitioner also provided a list of figures to Attorney General in 2012. According to the list, 150 condemned prisoners who have filed mercy petitions whose total detention varies from 28 years to minimum 15 years and above but were still living in jails and have become mentally disabled and their IQ level in most of the cases has fallen to 70 which is sub-human level, can't be allowed to be executed and to be treated abnormal.
He prayed to the apex court to direct the respondents to file explanation for these inordinate and inexplicable delays for not executing death sentence and what consequences will follow due to delay.
He further prayed that the execution in different parts by individual groups for whatever reasons be restrained throughout Pakistan as it may be due to religious or political alignment with nations or political parties.