ISLAMABAD - A larger bench of the Supreme Court will decide whether compromise between the deceased heirs and the convict is permissible under the Anti-Terrorism Act 1997.

The top court had issued notice to Attorney General of Pakistan to assist whether compromise under the Pakistan Army Act could be affected.

Legal experts have opinion that compromise under the ATA 1997 is not allowed. Sardar Razik, a senior lawyer, said there is no acquittal under section 7 of ATA 1997, adding only the quantum of sentence could be reduced. He said there are many judgments of the apex court which also state that there is no compromise under the terrorism law.

Section 7 of ATA 1997 says whoever commits an act of terrorism under Section 6, shall be punishable, on conviction, with death or with imprisonment for life, and with fine.

Chief Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali heading a two-member bench which heard a suo moto notice said a larger bench would be constituted to decide whether compromise could be effected under section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act 1997.

The chief justice stated the scope of the Supreme Court is higher than high court and in the interest of the justice could pass any order.

The apex court had taken suo moto while hearing the appeal of a PML-Q candidate against the election tribunal order. Abid Raza was elected member of the National Assembly on the ticket of the ruling party in general elections 2013. The losing candidate of PML-Q challenged in the election tribunal that passed an order in favour of Abid Raza. The PML-Q candidate later approached the apex court against the tribunal verdict.

The apex court, hearing the appeal noticed that Abid Raza was acquitted under section 302 of PPC, but not in 7ATA.

The PML-N MNA along with other accused had killed seven persons in 2001. The Anti-Terrorism Court had awarded them death sentence under section 302 of Pakistan Penal Code and section of 7 ATA 1997.

The PML-N leader later on entered into a compromise with the deceased families. The Lahore High Court acquitted him along with other accused on the basis of compromise but did not give any finding on the issue of 7ATA.