The Peshawar High Court (PHC) has on Thursday commuted the death sentence of the man convicted for the 2017 lynching of university student Mashal Khan.
In Mashal Khan murder case, PHC has maintained life sentence to seven convicts and three years jail term to 25 others.
The appeals were filed by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government, Mashal’s father and the convicts who were awarded jail terms by the trial court.
Mashal’s father, Iqbal Khan had filed an appeal in the PHC against the ATC’s verdict, demanding further punishment for the accused.
In the review petition, Iqbal Khan pleaded that those who were sentenced to life imprisonment should be put on death row.
He had also appealed for an increase in the punishment of those sentenced to three-four year jail sentences.
Mashal Khan murder over ‘blasphemy’
Mashal, 23, a student at Mardan, was brutally lynched by a mob on April 13, 2017 instigated by rumours that he had committed blasphemy by posting sacrilegious content online.
The court cancelled bails of 25 convicts and ordered their arrest from the courtroom.
A 13-member joint investigation team (JIT) was formed to probe the case.
On February 07, 2018 the ATC sentenced the prime suspect to death while five others to 25 years’ imprisonment in the case.
ATC had acquitted 26 suspects and awarded three years of jail term to 25 other accused in the case.
Convict Imran, who was awarded capital punishment, was found guilty of firing shots at the victim student from his pistol.
He had also confessed to the crime before the court.
Nearly 50 prosecution witnesses testified against the suspects during the course of the hearing conducted inside Haripur Central Jail.
The prosecution charged 61 people in the case, while 57 of them were arrested and produced before the court for trial.