ATC Rawalpindi’s jurisdiction challenged in IHC

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The jurisdiction of the Anti Terrorism Court (ATC) II Rawalpindi which announced death penalty to Mumtaz Qadri, the murderer of former Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer, was challenged in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday.
The petitioner GM Chaudhry contended that after the establishment of the IHC and IHC ACT 2010, the ATC Rawalpindi II had no jurisdiction to hear cases related to Islamabad. In his petition, the petitioner argued that according to sub-section 2 of Section 6 of IHC Act 2010, all civil, criminal, and revenue courts and all tribunal and special courts functioning in Islamabad were with in the jurisdiction and under the superintendence and control of LHC before commencement of IHC Act 2010.
He submitted that the ATC II Rawalpindi was still functioning under the LHC and had no authority to take cognizance of offences committed in Islamabad. The petitioner said, “The sentence to accused Mumtaz Qadri is based on his confession and under the law there will be no appeal but all sentences of death are subject to confirmation by the high court under Section 374 of the Code of Criminal Procedure 1898.
Meanwhile, lawyers of the IHC and district court observed partial strike to express solidarity with Qadri.