ISLAMABAD -  The act of hanging two brothers a year ago was challenged in the top court on Monday. Strangely, the two were acquitted by the Supreme Court (SC) just two weeks ago.

The counsel for the two brothers, Aftab Ahmad Khan, approached the apex court to take action against the public servants who were responsible for hanging them despite the fact their cases were pending in the SC.

A three-judge bench of the Supreme Court, headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa, hearing seven-year-old jail petitions, on October 6, 2016, acquitted Ghulam Qadir and Ghulam Sarwar, the hanged brothers.

They were condemned to death for killing Abdul Qadir, Muhammad Akmal and Salma Bibi on February 2, 2002, in Rahim Yar Khan.

Last week it transpired that they had been hanged in the Central Jail of Rahim Yar Khan, on October 12, 2015.

On October 8, 2016, the Supreme Court released and acquitted a man, Mazhar Hussain, charged with murder after 19 years. Later, it was revealed that he had died in the jail two years ago.

Aftab, through the petition, informed the court that it was a case of unique nature, so the chief justice of Pakistan must take suo motu notice of it and probe the matter.

The case landed in the Supreme Court seven years ago after the Lahore High Court dismissed the brothers’ appeals and upheld death penalty awarded by the district and sessions judge, Rahim Yar Khan, in 2006.

In 2010, the apex court appointed Advocate Aftab Ahmed Khan to plead the case on behalf of the brothers. On June 10, 2010, a two-judge bench, headed by Justice Raja Fayyaz Ahmed, took up the jail petitions for the first time against their death sentence and granted leave only for re-examining evidence against them for the premeditated murder of Salma. However, the bench upheld their death sentence in two other murders. The copy of the order was sent to the Punjab home secretary and the federal interior secretary for intimation.

Around two weeks ago the apex court again heard the case after which the bench found its order of June 10, 2010, to be “anomalous” and decided to review it.

After examining the entire record, the court on October 6, 2016, issued an 11-page judgment in which it was held that the prosecution had failed to prove its case against the appellants.

The court allowed their appeals and set aside the high court judgments under which they had been awarded death sentences.

Aftab Ahmad prayed to the court that the legal heirs of the deceased may be awarded heavy compensation as well. He made secretary interior, home secretary, additional district and sessions judge, Sadiqabad and superintendents of Rahim Yar Khan and Bahawalpur jails respondents in the case.

The application states that the sessions judge, home secretary and the interior secretary had failed to discharge their duty mandated under Article 190 of the constitution, adding that despite having the knowledge of the pendency of the appeal, it is highly unprecedented and deplorable that both the brothers were executed.

The application says that there is no embargo under law and constitution on this court, being custodian of the rights of citizens, to take action against the officials and award exemplary punishment to them.