Pakistan

SC acquits blasphemy convict after 11 years in jail

ISLAMABAD: A three-member bench of the Supreme Court has let off a blasphemy convict after 11 years of imprisonment on Wednesday.

The bench – headed by acting Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khosa – was hearing a plea filed by the convict who had been awarded life imprisonment by a trial court in Multan on October 2006.

Previously, the Lahore High Court had also upheld the verdict against the petitioner.

During the hearing, the bench noted that blasphemy allegations have a tendency to make life of an accused miserable as people [on religious matters] take the law into their hands. Justice Dost Muhammad Khan said it while referring Mashal Khan’s lynching incident. “Blasphemy is a sensitive issue”, the bench observed.

The bench opined that such allegations are also levelled against opponents to settle personal scores while pointing out to various cases.

After scrutinizing a complete record of the case, the bench ruled that the prosecution had failed to establish that the convict committed this offence with intention.

The bench observed that the complainant was also not present at the crime scene and the convict, in his statement, had said that he was drug addict. Tasneem Akhtar argued on behalf of convict.

After hearing her arguments, the bench ordered release of the accused.

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