LAHORE - The Supreme Court on Tuesday stayed execution of a murder convict till further order and asked the Punjab prosecutor general to assist the court on a point whether a punishment under anti terrorism law could be changed after a compromise between the parties.

The bench headed by Justice Mian Saqib Nisar held the proceedings. The bench stayed the execution with directions to the authorities to immediately communicate the order to officials at Kot Lakhpat jail for compliance.

Justice Mian Saqib Nisar observed that the matter required a careful perusal of the record as a human life was at stake. The Court would resume further hearing of the case on Aug 11 at Islamabad principal seat.

Shahzad Ahmad, son of the convict Allah Ditta, had challenged the execution of his father saying they reached an agreement with the complainant party. Petitioner’s counsel stated that after appeals against the sentence were dismissed from all legal forums, the complainant and the accused parties reached an out of court settlement on the death penalty awarded under ordinary law (PPC).

He said the punishment under special law of anti terrorism stood doubtful after reconciliation on the punishment of PPC. The counsel said the trial court and the high court were approached for the relief in light of the agreement between the parties. However, he said, both courts dismissed the appeals. He said the trial court issued death warrants of Allah Ditta for Aug 5 (today). The counsel asked the bench to set aside the warrants and stop the execution.

An anti terrorism court had awarded death penalty to Ditta in 2003 for killing a cop during an encounter.

In another case, the Lahore High Court on Tuesday dismissed an appeal challenging execution of three murder convicts. The appellants through their counsel told the bench that an agreement had been reached between the parties – complainant and convicts. However, he failed to produce any representative of the complainant party in the court despite being given a time of five hours. Convicts Riaz, Amanullah and Muhammad Mumtaz were awarded death sentences in 2006 for killing three persons on old enmity in Mianwali. Their execution was set for Wednesday (today).