ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court of Pakistan Wednesday ordered to acquit three persons, including a woman by overturning their life imprisonment sentence in a murder case registered some eight year ago.

A three-member bench of the Supreme Court headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa conducted hearing of a case of a murder committed some eight years ago and exonerated them of all charges.

The bench turned down all sentences awarded to the primary suspect Tahir Imran and two others, including Rubina Kausar and Kamran who had been convicted of killing a man, Akhtar Javaid, on April 21, 2009 in R.A Bazaar area of in Rawalpindi.

A trial court had awarded capital punishment to Imran, Kausar and Kamran — the deceased’s brother-in-law, wife and brother, respectively after finding them guilty of murdering Javaid over a family dispute. Later, a high court had turned their death sentence into life imprisonment.

The three-judge bench said in its judgment on the acquittal plea filed by Imran against the conviction, “The prosecution failed to prove [its] case.” The apex court ordered that the accused be released.

In his remarks, Justice Khosa regretted: “Unfortunately in Punjab, if the charges are proven, death sentence [is handed down], and if the charges are not proven, life imprisonment is announced [by the courts].”

He also said that it has become a tradition in Punjab to accuse the slain victim’s wife of his murder if the suspected murderer is unknown. He continued that the wife of the victim is usually shown to be involved in the murder case in order to usurp the couple’s property.

Justice Asif Saeed said that the Pakistani society should understand by now that judgments are given in the justice system on the basis of testimonies. “Whenever false witnesses will be presented [in the court], the real culprits will continue to be acquitted,” said Justice Khosa.

He maintained that the justice system cannot be established without truth. Justice Khosa said that the time had come for handing life imprisonments to those who level false allegations against others.