Pakistani court seeks alternative to hanging by the neck

Pakistani court seeks alternative to hanging by the neck

Peshawar, July 26 (Dawn): a Pakistani court has stayed an execution by hanging and asked Islamic scholars and the Defense Ministry to suggest an alternative method of execution.

The Peshawar High Court (PHC) on Wednesday issued a stay order on the execution of a death-row inmate following his plea asking for a “less painful method”.

Jan Bahadur in his petition had stated that the present mode of execution, hanging by neck until one was dead, was  “un-Islamic and unconstitutional’” and prayed the court for a procedure which was less painful.

A two-member bench of the PHC, comprising Justice Lal Jan Khattak and Justice Abdur Shakoor, stayed the execution after hearing the petition of the condemned prisoner.

The judges adjourned the case and directed the Islamic Ideology Council (IIC) and the Ministry of Defencs to submit their responses in the case.

Bahadur in his plea maintained that time had changed with science and technology making great strides, and therefore the court should direct the authority to devise a less painful method for death row inmates.

The death-row inmate’s lawyer said there could be a number of other methods that may be legally a permissible practice for execution.

Bahadur was sentenced to death by an additional district and sessions judge on April 7, 2000 in Takht-e-Bhai, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa in a murder case. He committed the crime in 1993. His clemency appeal has already been rejected and he is imprisoned in Haripur Central Prison.

In Pakistan, under Section 368 of the 1898 Code of Criminal Procedure which was adopted after the creation of the country, the only method given for executions was hanging by neck.

The section of law reads: “When any person is sentenced to death, the sentence shall direct that he be hanged by the neck till he is dead.”