ISLAMABAD - A two-member bench of the Supreme Court would take up tomorrow (Monday) criminal petition of Mumtaz Qadri, who had killed Punjab Governor Salman Taseer.

Khawaja Sharif, former chief justice of Lahore High Court who has filed petition on behalf of Qadri, 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 upheld Mumtaz Qadri’s death sentence under section-302 of PPC for killing Salmaan Taseer, but struck down terrorism conviction. The IHC declared Qadri’s, police bodyguard of Salmaan Taseer, death sentence under the ATC null and void. 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.