Notices issued over wife’s plea to put off Saulat’s hanging

Death row prisoner Saulat Mirza’s wife, Nighat Jafar Malik (centre), on Thursday comes to the Sindh High Court to file a petition seeking deferment of her husband’s execution, which is scheduled for May 12.—Online

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court on Thursday directed the home secretary and the provincial chiefs of prisons of Sindh and Balochistan to submit their respective comments on a petition filed by the wife of Saulat Mirza, a death row prisoner belonging to the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, seeking deferment of her husband’s execution.

A two-judge bench headed by Justice Naimatullah Phulpoto also ordered the law officers of the two provincial governments to ensure filing of comments of the respondent authorities till Friday (today).

Know more: Saulat Mirza's death warrant issued for May 12

Mirza’s wife, Nighat Jafar Malik, petitioned the SHC against her husband’s hanging and asked the court to hold in abeyance the execution of the convict till an inquiry against other accused persons in the Shahid Hamid murder case was carried out.

She submitted in her petition that Mirza disclosed in his video statement the names of actual accused behind the murder of Shahid Hamid. Subsequently, she added, the hanging was postponed and a joint investigation team was constituted to grill the convict with regard to his allegations.

The petitioner said Mirza had disclosed the same details regarding the murder before a joint interrogation team (JIT).

She said that her husband would help bring the other accused to justice and added that if Mirza was hanged, the evidence would be buried and no one else would ever dare to speak up the truth.

She asked the court to reopen the murder case and defer the hanging of her husband.

Saulat Mirza was sentenced to death by an antiterrorism court in May 1999 for murdering the managing director of then-named Karachi Electric Supply Corporation Shahid Hamid, his driver Ashraf Brohi and guard Khan Akbar in July 1997. He was moved along with four high-profile prisoners to the Machh jail, Balochistan, in April 2014.

His appeal against the conviction was thrown out by the SHC in 2000 and later in 2001 the Supreme Court also dismissed his plea.

The convict filed a review petition in the apex court which was also rejected in 2004. Black warrants for Mirza’s hanging were issued after his mercy appeal was recently rejected by the president of Pakistan.

SSP Rao Anwar’s encounters

The same bench that also comprised of Justice Shaukat Memon directed a civil rights campaigner to place on record the details of the persons killed by former SSP of Malir Rao Anwar in alleged fake police encounters.

The bench was hearing a petition filed by Rana Faizul Hasan, secretary general of the United Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, who sought an inquiry into the police encounters carried out by SSP Rao.

The petitioner alleged that the police officer had killed over 60 accused in fake encounters over the past six months.

He impleaded the chief secretary, home secretary, provincial police chief, law secretary and SSP Rao as respondents and asked the court to summon details of the encounters conducted over the past five years and order an inquiry into these encounters. The petitioner also asked the court to place the SSP’s name on the exit control list.

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