LHC CJ refuses to hear petition

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LAHORE: Lahore High Court (LHC) Chief Justice Ijaz Ahmed Chaudhry on Friday refused to hear a petition challenging the acquittal and release of Raymond Davis by trial court, and sent the petition to the bench of Justice Iftikhar Hussein Chaudhry to determine if it was maintainable or not. Barrister Iqbal Jafferi, disputing Davis’ release, filed the petition. Iqbal argued that the trial court had violated Sharia Law because Fahim’s widow was not ready to pardon Davis. The widow committed suicide, protesting against a possible forced deal.
Allegations are being levelled against LHC CJ by some quarters claiming that the LHC CJ had prior knowledge of the compromise through Diyat when he was disposing of four petitions seeking restraining orders against Davis’s release. On Friday, the chief justice excused himself from hearing the petition, observing that he had already heard several petitions against diplomatic immunity and possible release of Raymond. He said that he disposed of the petitions in the interest of justice, as he felt that it would be good now if some other LHC bench heard the matter. With these observations, CJ sent the petition to Justice Iftikhar, who will determine the ‘maintainability’ of the petition for a regular hearing.
In the petition, Iqbal asserted that Davis’ release was against Islamic Sharia, the constitution and law of Pakistan as Davis had committed the offence of fisaad-fil-arz (manslaughter) which can not be compromised on or pardoned. He said the legal heirs of Fahim and Faizan should be summoned to record their statements. He prayed the court to set aside the trial court’s order.