Islamabad - The Supreme Court Monday received an application against the death sentence awarded to Mumtaz Qadri by Islamabad High Court for killing Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer.

Khawaja Sharif, counsel for Qadri, told The Nation that he had filed the appeal against IHC judgement in the Supreme Court Lahore Registry on April 8, but submitted an application in the SC Principal seat today (Monday) for hearing of the case in Islamabad. Khawaja Sharif, former chief justice Lahore High Court, claimed that the Islamabad High Court’s verdict is unconstitutional and unlawful. He said under Section 302 (C) of Pakistan Penal Code, the punishment should not be severe because the murder of the Punjab governor was an act of provocation.

The IHC on March 9, 2015 had upheld Mumtaz Qadri’s death sentence under Section 302 of PPC for killing Salmaan Taseer, but struck down terrorism conviction. The IHC’s division bench comprising Justice Noorul Haq N Qureshi and Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui set aside his conviction under section 7 of the ATA but upheld the death sentence under 302 of the PPC.

An anti-terrorism court handed down double death sentences for murder and terrorism to Qadri in late 2011. However, the self-confessed killer of the former governor Punjab had filed an appeal in the court against his conviction, which the IHC dismissed. The federal government last week challenged the Islamabad High Court’s verdict to drop charges of terrorism against Qadri.