SC upholds LHC decision in Punjab AAG murder case
ISLAMABAD: A Supreme Court (SC) bench on Tuesday rejected a plea of former Additional Advocate General (AAG) of the Punjab Arif Bhindar’s alleged killer against Lahore High Court (LHC) decision to pardon two co-accused who later turned approvers. The bench consisted of Justice Saiyed Saeed Ashhad, Justice Muhammad Qaim Jan Khan and Justice Sheikh Hakim Ali.
Arif Bhindar along with seven people was gunned down in Lahore in 2007. The Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC), Lahore, framed charges against 13 persons, including principal accused Malik Muhammad Arif alias Papp. Two accused Iqbal Alam and Iqbal Mir later submitted a plea to the ATC for becoming approvers. The ATC approved the plea but Malik Arif moved the LHC objecting to the co-accused turning approvers but the petition was dismissed. Arif then approached the SC against the LHC decision.
On Tuesday, Arif’s counsel Muhammad Illyas Siddiqui contended that in the presence of enough evidence, the case didn’t require approvers. He said the status of approvers was illegal.
However, counsel for the deceased’s legal heirs Raja Abdur Rehman said that the trial court was authorised to pardon the co-accused before making them approvers with the consent of legal heirs of the deceased before final decision. Rehman said the co-accused were made approvers after seeking the consent of the deceased’s legal heirs. He said the injured witnesses had also extended their consent on approvers.