1978 SCMR 292
Per Qaisar Khan, J.
(a) Constitution of Pakistan, 1973, Article, 12
The occurrence took place in 1964 when punishment for murder was death or transportation for life. Transportation for life under section 57, P.P.C. meant transportation for 20 years. The amendment in the Penal Code was introduced with effect from the 14th of April 1972 by Law Reforms Ordinance XII of 1972. According tot eh amended section 302 the punishment for murder was death or life imprisonment and life imprisonment according to section 57, P.P.C. meant imprisonment for 25 years.
According to Article 12 of the Constitution no law could authorize punishment of a person for an offence by a penalty greater than the penalty prescribed by law for the offence at the time the offence was committed. The accused could not therefore be sentenced to life imprisonment. He had to be sentenced to transportation for life. We therefore accept this petition and convert the punishment of the petitioner on each of the two counts to transportation for life instead of life imprisonment. [pp. 293 &294]B