Supreme Court of Pakistan upholds capital punishment of Mumtaz Qadri

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Mumtaz Qadri

The Supreme Court of Pakistan has maintained the death sentence of Mumtaz Qadri, who killed former Punjab Governor Salman Taseer.

According to details, the Apex court today, October 7, Wednesday upheld the death sentence of Mumtaz Qadri. Previously, Mumtaz Qadri had challenged his death sentence in the Supreme Court. The three member bench of the Apex Court declared the Islamabad High Court decision of call off the death sentence under the Anti-Terrorism Act to be invalid. However, Mumtaz Qadri will have the right to submit a mercy appeal to the President of Pakistan.

For the duration of the court proceedings on the case, Mumtaz Qadri’s defence counsel put forward arguments that the convict was a straightforward man who had a an explanation for killing the former governor. The defence counsel further admitted that the murder was in accordance with the orders of the Holy Quran and the Sunnah. The defence counsel further argued that Mumtaz Qadri was convinced that the victim Salman Taseer had committed blasphemy by calling the blasphemy law “a black law”.

Also read: Criticising blapshemy law is not blasphemous, SC Judge Khosa

Mumtaz Qadri who is a former commando of the Punjab Police’s Elite Force, was awarded capital punishment for murdering former Punjab Governor Salman Taseer in Islamabad’s Koshar Market on January 4, 2011. He shot 27 bullets straight at him. Later on, he admitted killing Salman Taseer because he publicly opposed the blasphemy law, called it a black law while calling for reforms to the notorious law.

Mumtaz Qadri was arrested and tried in an Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) and on October 1, 2011, he was awarded death sentence along with obliging him to pay Rs0.2 million as fine and compensation to the legal heirs of Salman Taseer.

In yesterday’s hearing Justice Asif Saeed Khosa who headed the three member bench hearing the case, remarked that criticising blasphemy law does not amounts to committing blasphemy. The SC bench claimed that Mumtaz Qadri’s defence counsel’s arguments will be deemed invalid if it is not proved that Samlan Taseer in any way committed blasphemy. Justice Khosa further maintained that the video clippings which were presented before the court fail to establish in any way that the former governor had committed blasphemy.