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Court in G-B upholds Baba Jan’s life term

By Shabbir Mir

GILGIT: The Supreme Appellate Court (SAC) in Gilgit-Baltistan upheld an anti-terrorism court’s decision that previously sentenced Baba Jan to life imprisonment.

The region’s top court on Thursday also set aside an election tribunal decision which allowed Jan to contest by-elections in GBLA-6,  Hunza. “Of the three judges, two ruled against him,” Jan’s counsel, Advocate Ehsan Ali, said.

“We are not happy with the decision as it seems imposed,” Ali told The Express Tribune.

SAC Chief Judge Rana Muhammad Shamim and Justice Javed Iqbal ruled against Jan, while Justice Shehbaz Khan decided in his favour, he said.

Last month, the SAC delayed GBLA-6 by-elections for three weeks to decide this case. According to Ali, the court will soon pass its judgment on whether Jan can contest polls. “Apparently, today’s decision has said it all. It appears the final decision of the apex court will seal his fate,” he added.

Jan, a member of the left-wing Awami Workers Party’s, was one of the potential candidates for the by-elections to be held later in June. He was seen as a potential threat as he bagged the second highest number of votes after Mir Ghazanfar Ali, who is now governor of the region, in the elections of 2015. Jan was contesting elections despite being behind bars.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 10th, 2016.

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