LAHORE - Supreme Court on Tuesday sought details of all prisoners on death row in jails across the country in response to a petition that raised the issue of pending mercy petitions.

A three-judge bench, headed by Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali, issued the directive in response to the constitutional petition filed by Yaqoob Bhatti, a prisoner. The bench was told by a lawyer during today's proceedings that a total of 6,355 prisoners were on death row while 896 appeals were filed in the Supreme Court and another 27 in the Federal Shariah Court.

The lawyer asked the court to direct authorities to make a clear decision about the fate of such prisoners.

The deputy attorney general requested the bench to grant him time so that he could assist it with all relevant details.

The bench adjourned the matter and said the Supreme Court's office would set the date for the next hearing.

Parliamentary Secretary for Interior Rao Mujtaba Kharal yesterday informed the National Assembly that no civilian had been executed during the past four years.

Speaking during Question Hour, Kharal said currently 65 convicts were awaiting the implementation of their death sentences.