Until death penalty is abolished, courts need to humanise the law and procedure relating to death and mercy.
- Death row convict Mohammed Arif alias Ashfaq has been given one more opportunity of an oral hearing.
- A 30-minute oral hearing in open court for every review petition involving the penalty is a constitutional requirement.
- It was not applicable to Ashfaq as his review and curative petitions had already been rejected.
- He was granted a concession in order that even the slightest possibility of error may be eliminated.
- Supreme Court has been dealing with cases culminating in the death penalty in a liberal spirit in recent years.
- In sept. 2014, it carved out an exception for death row cases alone by making oral hearing an integral part of ‘reasonable procedure’.
- In general review petitions are decided by circulation of the papers among judges not by oral hearing.