The division bench of Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Tuesday accepted the appeal of Mumtaz Qadri, the self-confessed murderer of Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer, and admitted the death sentence given to him by an Anti Terrorism Court for regular hearing.
The court has also issued a notice to the state.
Chief Justice Iqbal Hameedur Rahman said that the death sentence handed to Mumtaz Qadri “will not be executed”.
Lahore High Court’s former chief justice (retd) Khawaja Muhammad Sharif requested to allow ulema in court’s proceedings, but his request was declined by Rahman.
Hundreds of Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) and supporters of Qadri are gathered outside the IHC.
The divisional bench of the Islamabad High Court, comprising Chief Justice Iqbal Hameedur Rehman and Justice Riaz Ahmed Khan held the proceedings.
Earlier, Qadri had filed an appeal against his death sentence given to him by an Anti Terrorism Court in Rawalpindi on October 1.
Qadri, a constable of Elite Police Force, confessed to murdering the governor at every forum — from the district magistrate to the trial court.
He tried to justify his act by saying that he had killed Taseer for supporting blasphemy convict Aasia Bibi, who was Christian by faith and whom Taseer had believed had been wrongly convicted of committing blasphemy.