Pakistan

Calls for reforming blasphemy law should not be deemed objectionable: SC

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court, in its detailed judgment in Salman Taseer murder case, said any call for reforming the blasphemy law should not to be mistaken as a call for doing away with that law and it ought to be understood as a call for introducing adequate safeguards against use of that law by “motivated persons”.

“The purpose of providing safeguards against misuse of blasphemy law through leveling of false allegations ought not to be considered as objectionable because the religion of Islam loathes leveling of false allegations which is a serious offence in itself,” ruled the apex court.

Mumtaz Qadri’s appeal was dismissed by the Supreme Court in the Salman Taseer murder case. As per the orders of the Supreme Court on October 27, the trial court’s verdict was upheld and Qadri’s death sentence was reserved.

Click here for detailed judgment

Mumtaz Qadri was arrested for the murder of former Punjab governor Salman Taseer. He had committed the murder of the senior Pakistan People’s Party member on 4th January 2011. After Qadri confessed to the murder, on 1st October 2011, the Anti-Terrorist Court of Rawalpindi sentenced Mumtaz Qadri to death twice. Qadri had appealed against the death sentence verdict.  On 9 March 2015, Islamabad High Court suspended the provisions of terrorism and upheld Qadri’s death sentence.

The 39-page judgment said that blasphemy was abhorrent and immoral, besides being a manifestation of intolerance, but a false allegation is equally detestable as well as culpable.

“If our religion of Islam comes down heavily upon commission of blasphemy then Islam is also very tough against those who level false allegations of a crime. It is, therefore, for the State of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan to ensure that no innocent person is compelled or constrained to face an investigation or a trial on the basis of false or trumped up allegations regarding commission of such an offence,” says the SC order.

The detailed order further adds: “… Malik Muhammad Mumtaz Qadri who had committed the murder of Mr. Salman Taseer at the date, time and place alleged by the prosecution and also that the appellant had no factual or legal justification available with him for committing the said murder. In Criminal Appeals No. 210 and 211 of 2015 29 view of this conclusion reached by us the conviction of the appellant recorded by the trial court for an offence under section 302(b), PPC and upheld by the Islamabad High Court, Islamabad has been found by us to have been validly recorded and upheld.”

 

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