PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court has upheld the conviction of a militant by an assistant political agent for waging war against the state and attacking security forces.
It, however, reduced the convict’s prison sentence from 28 years to 14 years.
A bench consisting of Justice Qaiser Rasheed Khan and Justice Ijaz Anwar partially allowed appeal of the convict, Sahib Khan, who was sentenced by the APA in Kurram Agency, now Kurram tribal district, in 2017.
It ruled that the benefit of Section 382-B of the Code of Criminal Procedure should be extended to him under which his period of detention prior to conviction should also be counted in his prison term. The court added that the sentences of 14 years imprisonment awarded to the appellant on two counts should run concurrently.
The APA had ordered the consecutive running of the sentences.
Halves 28-year prison sentence
Saifullah Muhib Kakakhel, lawyer for the appellant, contended that his client was convicted by the APA only on the basis of a report of a joint investigation team (JIT), while there were no specific charges against him.
He added that his client was not given opportunity of being heard.
The lawyer contended that the APA convicted the accused for the same offence twice i.e. 14 years for waging war against the state and 14 years for attacking personnel of security forces, and had ruled that the sentences should run consecutively.
He added that under the law, the APA had no powers to award sentence of more than 14 years imprisonment.
The court was informed that the appellant had already spent more than four years in prison when he was handed over to political authorities by the security forces and that period was not counted in his prison term.
Published in Dawn, March 7th, 2020