Identification parade.

Asfandyar spent 10 years in jail for a crime he had never committed. An anti-terrorism court had found him guilty of murdering a student in 2009 and sentenced him to death. The Lahore High Court later commuted his death sentence to life imprisonment. The case took no less than a decade to reach a decision stage in the Supreme Court where a three-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, ruled Asfandyar acquitted, observing that the magistrate did not fulfil legal obligations in identification parade. The top court has also summoned the magistrate for carrying out faulty identification, in what is the first such action of its kind.

The case is indeed distressing, and our judicial history has had even more distressing ones. We even had a case where the top court's acquittal orders reached a person after he had died. Not long ago in October 2016 to be exact the Supreme Court had exonerated Mazhar Hussain who had been sentenced to death for a murder by a sessions court in 2004. But the acquittal came two years too late. Mazhar, whose original appeal against...

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