ISLAMABAD - Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry has remarked a death convict can neither be released on bail on medical grounds nor can his sentence be commuted to life imprisonment.

He further remarked that the apex court had rejected the petition of a death convict who had undergone open heart surgery. He gave these remarks while heading a 3-member bench of the Supreme Court (SC) during the hearing of a petition seeking conversion of capital punishment of a death convict, Ashiq Hussain, into life imprisonment on medical grounds.

The CJP remarked, “The sentence cannot be suspended on medical grounds. The High Court has already given relief for medical treatment. The court does not intend to make any interference therein, so the petition is dismissed.”

Meanwhile, the authority of President of Pakistan to condone death sentence was challenged in the Supreme Court here on Friday.

Petitioner Mehmood Akhtar Naqvi advocate filed a petition, praying to the Supreme Court to nullify the authority of the president to condone the death sentence.

The petitioner said that according to the Constitution of the country, the president could not give pardon to a prisoner for the death sentence, adding only heirs of a victim could forgive a death sentence convict. He pleaded to the court to nullify this power of the president.