Ghulam Jan v. State (2010 SCMR 1189)

Significant delay between a crime and an identification parade can discredit any identification made.

The accused was convicted of murder and sentenced to death under 302(b). The Lahore High Court commuted the sentence to life imprisonment. The deceased was allegedly killed at night by two strangers with pistols. They were identified in a test identification parade ten months later. The Supreme Court stated that, given the circumstances of the crime, it was questionable whether a witness would be able to correctly identify the culprit after so long. The accused were not identified with respect to their specific roles in the offence, rendering the identification meaningless. Both accused were identified in a joint parade, which the Supreme Court again clarified is unlawful, and the records did not indicate how many other people were included in the parade, making it impossible to test the parade’s validity. Thus the identification was discredited and the accused were acquitted.