ISLAMABAD: Islamabad High Court (IHC) upheld Mumtaz Qadri’s death sentence on Monday under Section-302 of the Pakistan Penal Code for killing former Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer.

The court further declared Qadri’s death sentence under the Anti Terrorism Act null and void.

Qadri, the self-confessed killer of the former governor Punjab had filed an appeal in the court against his conviction.

Earlier, Qadri’s case took an interesting turn when the IHC remarked that even a judge cannot touch an accused after awarding him punishment, yet the defence counsel insisted that a person can kill another person under unusual circumstances.

When the two-member bench, comprising Justice Noorul Haq N Qureshi and Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui, resumed hearing in the case on February 7, Justice Siddiqui questioned whether the case should be decided on the basis of emotions or the letter of the law.

Counsel for Qadri Justice (retd) Mian Nazir Akhar insisted that “anyone can be killed under unusual circumstances.” Quoting examples from Islamic history, he mentioned incidents in which blasphemers were killed for making derogatory remarks against the Holy Prophet (pbuh) and their act was appreciated by the then rulers.

However, the judge observed that at that time the nature of things was different and the said team had judicial powers.

The legal heirs of Salmaan Taseer filed an application before the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday, requesting it to reject the murder appeal of Mumtaz Qadri.