Chief Justice Constitutes Bench to Define “Terrorism”

Chief Justice of Pakistan, Asif Saeed Khosa, has constituted a seven-member larger bench to determine the definition of ‘terrorism’.

The larger bench will be headed by the CJP himself and will ascertain what does and does not constitute as an act of terrorism. The top judge remarked that since 1997, there is no provision as to which cases should fall under terrorism.

The definition of terrorism turned up in the court during the hearing of the review petitions in “Sibtain versus the State” and “Fazal Bashir versus the State” cases. The accused, in these cases, were charged under Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA).

The applicability of ATA clauses also came under discussion a year ago when the apex court had set aside the capital punishment announced by an anti-terrorism court to Asma Nawab and two others on the basis of legal technicalities in a 20-year-old case regarding the killing of her parents and brother.

  • This is excellent initiative! Even minor offenses are processed with anti-terror clauses to enhance punishment significantly needlessly.

    Nearly every case is being referred to ATCs rather than regular civil justice system through the extensive systemic misuse of wide application anti-terrorism laws. This needs to be fixed urgently.

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