PESHAWAR, Feb 6: The Peshawar High Court on Wednesday ruled that carrying a suicide vest was an act of terrorism and the anti-terrorism courts had the exclusive jurisdiction for its trial.
A bench comprising Chief Justice Dost Mohammad Khan and Justice Irshad Qaiser set aside an order passed by a judge of an anti-terrorism court in Peshawar through which the case of an alleged militant carrying suicide vest was sent to a routine court.
The anti-terrorism court had ruled that carrying suicide vest didn’t come under the Anti-Terrorism Act and it was plain case of recovery of explosives coming under the Explosive Substance Act and therefore, it should be tried by a routine court dealing with criminal cases.
The bench was hearing a plea of the provincial government for setting aside the order of the ATC and refer the case back to ATC. The suspect, Deen Mohammad, was arrested near the General Bus Stand in the jurisdiction of Pahari Pura police station in Peshawar on May 22, 2011. Police claimed to have recovered a suicide vest filled with explosives from his possession.
On Nov 14, 2012, a judge of the anti-terrorism court referred the case to a routine court after recording statements of some of the witnesses.
The chief justice observed that the suspect was carrying the explosives filled vest for carrying out an act of terrorism and not protecting himself from harsh weather.
He added that for eight years, blasts through suicide vests had been carried out across the country, especially Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The court observed that security forces, police and civilian population had suffered fatal casualties in thousands due to suicide blasts.
It ruled that the phenomenon of suicide bombing had become so consistent that even in mosques, the people felt scared and suspected the people standing by them in the row as terrorists. It added that once suicide vest was recovered containing high quality explosive, then undeniable inference would be that it was meant for act of terrorism and not for any other purpose.
JUVENILE RELEASED: A bench of the high court comprising Justice Miftauddin Khan and Justice Mazhar Alam Miankhel on Wednesday suspended conviction of a juvenile offender by a juvenile court in a case of drug pushing and ordered his release on bail.
The bench directed the petitioner, Naseebzada, to furnish two surety bonds of Rs0.1 million each.