Court moved for probe into wrong convictions
ISLAMABAD: A constitutional petition has been filed in the Supreme Court asking for the establishment of a review commission to provide remedies for wrong convictions in cases involving capital punishment and life term sentences.
Death penalty and life imprisonment cases are directly related to fundamental rights and the law provides no remedy when miscarriages of justice occur because of a Supreme Court decision.
The Supreme Court is the highest and last appellate forum in the country, maintains the petition filed under Article 184(3) of the Constitution by lawyers’ organisation, Wukala Mahaz Brai Tahhaffuz Dastoor. The petition maintains that Article 4 of the Constitution envisages the right to access to justice for all.
This constitutional provision also guarantees the right to a fair trial before an impartial court. But, if a person is wrongly convicted because of mistaken identity, then there should be a judicial forum to redress the miscarriage of justice, particularly in cases involving capital punishment and life imprisonment.
The petition has been filed through advocate Akram Shaikh and asks the court to direct the federal government to constitute a review commission with guidelines to reduce the risk of wrong conviction.
The petition cites the case of Saulat Ali, who was convicted to death. His application for the production of additional evidence was rejected along with his review appeal.
A bench of the Supreme Court on March 9, 2004 did not consider the application for fresh evidence and passed the ruling that such an application by the convict will be deemed dismissed along with the dismissal of his review appeal.
The petition filed in the SC maintained that the fundamental rights guaranteed in articles 9, 14 and 25 of the Constitution of 1973 are violated if miscarriages of justice take place in any civil or criminal case.
The State, through the Ministry of Law, Justice and Human Rights, has been made the respondent in this petition. The Supreme Court’s Registrar’s office confirmed that this petition was filed by Advocate-on-Record Muhammad Zaidi on Wednesday. staff report