Lahore, Aug 3: A hearing on a petition challenging a possible presidential pardon for Sarabjit Singh, an Indian national on death row following his conviction for alleged involvement in bomb attacks in Pakistan in 1990, has been adjourned till September 20 by a court here.
A Deputy Attorney General (DAG) appeared before a bench of the Lahore High Court yesterday and sought time to file a reply to the petition on behalf of the government.
Referring to another petition filed by Sarabjit's counsel to become party to the case, the DAG said he had not been provided a copy of this petition so far. At this juncture, Chief Justice Ijaz Chaudhry asked Sarabjit's counsel Awais Sheikh to give a copy of his petition to the law officer so that he could file a reply on behalf of the government.
Lawyer Rana Ilamuddin Ghazi had filed the petition challenging a possible presidential pardon for Sarabjit. He said the Indian national had been given the death sentence by the trial court. The High Court and the apex court had rejected his appeals against his conviction, Ghazi said. Even Sarabjit's mercy petition had been dismissed by former President Pervez Musharraf, he added.
Ghazi said Dalbir Kaur, the sister of Sarabjit, recently visited Pakistan and appealed to President Asif Ali Zardari to commute her brother's death sentence to life imprisonment and release him from jail.
Sarabjit has been on death row since he was convicted for alleged involvement in four bomb blasts in 1990 that killed 14 people. His family insists he was wrongly convicted for the bombings.
Though Sarabjit was set to be hanged in 2008, Pakistani authorities put off his execution indefinitely after Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani intervened in the matter. PTI