LHC dismisses petition seeking public hanging of Zainab’s killer


LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Wednesday rejected a petition calling for the public execution of the convict, Imran Ali, in the Zainab rape and murder case.

A division bench, headed by Justice Sadaqat Ali, disposed of the petition for being premature.

The petition was filed by Advocate Ishtiaq Chaudhry who pleaded that there was no need of making any amendment in law for publicly hanging Imran. The Punjab government could execute Imran publicly under section 22, he added. He also suggested that the culprit should be hanged at the same spot from where the body of Zainab was found.

The petitioner requested the court to issue orders to the Punjab government to implement section 22 in this particular case.

On Feb 17, an anti-terrorism court found Imran Ali guilty of the charges brought against him, and handed him four counts of the death penalty, one life term, a 7-year jail term and Rs 4.1 million in fines.

The four death penalties were for kidnapping, raping and murdering Zainab, and for committing an act of terrorism under Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act.

The life sentence, along with a Rs1 million fine, was handed to Ali for sodomy; another 7-year jail sentence and Rs1 million fine were imposed for disrespecting the dead body by throwing it in a trash heap.

Ali faces further charges in the cases of at least seven other children he attacked — five of whom were murdered — in a spate of assaults that had stoked fears a serial child killer was on the loose. He has confessed to all eight attacks, including the death of Zainab.

The victim girl’s parents had also been demanding public hanging of the convict to bring some curb on such crimes in Pakistan.