KARACHI- The Sindh High Court (SHC) today suspended the black warrants of two inmates citing that the proper legal procedure was not followed.

The suspension of the warrants came after the SHC heard appeals filed by the families of these inmates.

Ataullah alias Qasim and Muhammed Azam – were scheduled to be hanged on Tuesday, in Sukkur central jail.

The appeals were filed by the families of Muhammad Azam and Ataullah alias Abdullah of banned organizations to have their black warrants suspended. The appeals were heard by a bench headed by Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar. The Advocate General Sindh and Superintendent appeared during proceedings.

 Justice Ali asked Superintendent Sindh if he was aware of changes made in the death penalty laws, adding that if he was aware the date of the execution is set seven days after the black warrant is issued. Justice Ali asked since the black warrant was issued on 18 December, how was the date set for 23 December when it should have been 26 December.

Justice Ali remarked that the government itself was making a mockery of the law and should follow the law not its will. The lawyer for the families argued that a second review petition had been filed in the Supreme Court after all death penalty pleas had been dismissed. He added that by issuing the warrants the anti-terrorism court had ignored the review petition pending in the Supreme Court.

 The appeals called for the warrants to be suspended until the Supreme Court reaches a decision on the review petition. The court has stated that fresh black warrants of these inmates should be issued in accordance with the law. The court ordered authorities to transfer the prisoners to Karachi central jail.

Another death row prisoner, Muhammad Nawaz, is likely to be sent to gallows in Bahawalpur jail today. Nawaz, a resident of Punjab’s Sargodha town, belongs to a banned outfit. He was convicted by Rawalpindi anti-terrorism court for his involvement in sectarian riots and bomb blasts.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif directed Attorney General Salman Aslam Butt and his legal team to actively pursue terrorism cases and approach courts to vacate stay orders against executions.

On Sunday, authorities executed four more militants as the government has ended a six-year moratorium on capital punishment for terror-related cases following Taliban attack on Peshawar school that killed 149 people. Two other convicts were hanged on Friday in Pervez Mushrraf attack case.