Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Asif Saeed Khosa said on Monday that the current interpretation of the life imprisonment law was flawed and expressed the intent to reexamine it at an “appropriate time”.
During the hearing of review plea of a murder case, CJP said that the span of life imprisonment is limited to 25 years when it is meant to last a lifetime. He wished to review the law and said: “We will interpret the law correctly at an appropriate time. Once it happens, convicts will ask for a death sentence instead of life imprisonment.”
“Once it happens, we’ll see who commits murder,” he said.
This is not the first time the judiciary has taken reviewing life imprisonment law under consideration, In 2004, a five-member bench as many as 62 appeals that urged the top court to reinstate death penalty for convicts whose capital punishments were commuted into life imprisonment leading to their release on the basis of remission in their imprisonment periods.
“In calculating fractions of terms of punishment, imprisonment for life shall be reckoned as equivalent to imprisonment for twenty-five years,” states the Section 57 of the Pakistan Penal Code, Fractions of terms of punishment.
The apex court, however, observed that the provisions of the above-mentioned section which deem 25-year imprisonment as transportation for life, only specify the calculation of the punishment term which is necessary because certain offences are a fraction of the term of imprisonment prescribed for other offences.