Shafqat Mehmood v. State (2011 SCMR 537)

Joint identification parades for multiple accused and parades held after the witness has already seen the accused are unlawful, and render a subsequent in court identification without value.

The accused were convicted of dacoity with murder and sentenced to death under ATA 396 & 394 for allegedly robbing a bank and killing a guard. The Lahore High Court confirmed the sentences. The Supreme Court found the identification parade flawed because the prosecution witnesses had seen the accused in the police station prior to the parade. The Court clarified that “it is the duty and obligation of the authority that precautionary measures are necessary to conceal the identity of the accused” The identifying witness did not identify the accused with respect to a specific role in the offence, which made the identification “of no value and unreliable.” Moreover, a joint parade was held for both accused, and the Court stated that “It is also settled principle of law that is identification parade of each accused should be held separately otherwise confusion would be created.” Because the parade was not held in accordance with law, the Court found subsequent in-court identification of the accused to be of no value. Thus, the identification was deemed unreliable and, due to insufficient remaining evidence, the accused were acquitted.