Islamabad - The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Friday reserved its verdict on an appeal filed by death-row convict Shafqat Hussain, who is seeking formation of judicial commission to determine his age.

A single bench of IHC comprising Justice Athar Minallah conducted the hearing of the petition and reserved his judgment which would be announced on Monday.

Advocate Tariq Hassan, the counsel for the convict, argued before the court that he was not challenging the Supreme Court’s verdict against his client but he was saying that it was a matter of a juvenile case, as, according to him, when his client was handed down punishment, he was underage. The counsel maintained that it was the responsibility of the government to issue birth certificates and national identity cards, which had not been issued to his client.

Dr Tariq also produced some sections of the Human Rights and Juvenile Ordinance 2000 and according to which, children aged 18 and below could not be hanged. He adopted that his client has the right to make a clemency appeal as a juvenile criminal and President Mamnoon Hussain could discard the execution verdict of any court and grant life to the death row inmate.

At this juncture, the court observed, “Your arguments are tantamount to issuing licenses to underage children to carry out suicide attacks.” The court asked the counsel for the death-row convict whether the president could commute a punishment without the consent of the aggrieved party.

Then Additional Attorney General Waqar Rana told the court that the counsel for the convict wanted to reopen the whole case. He said that the convict’s counsel, if wanted, should be allowed to approach the Supreme Court to reopen the case. He was of the view that in this regard the petitioner could approach Supreme Court of Pakistan under Article 184/3.

After hearing the arguments of both the sides, the IHC single bench reserved its judgment on the petition and it is likely that the court would announce its decision on Monday.