It has been reported by electronic media that there are 6,000 prisoners on death row whose mercy petitions have not yet been decided by the President in the last four years. This has resulted in over crowding of prisons across the country with the hangmen left to wait for their job. This situation translates into “justice delayed is justice denied.” When the final decision has been made at the level of Apex Court it does not stand to reason to inordinately delay the carrying out the acts of justice. In any case as per Islamic injunctions, it is not for the President to carry on his back the burden of justice in case of death penalty as it is only the prerogative of legal heirs of the victim to exercise their night for “Qisas” or otherwise. The concept of mercy petitions to be decided by the President is an alien concept that has crept into the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Perhaps, this is right time to strike down this unislamic provision in the Constitution like the case of immunity for the President and other Government functionaries against Contempt of Court committed by them. Let us get rid of such unislamic provisions in law as yet present in our legal system.
Lahore, July 28.