Asia Bibi’s blasphemy row: Case adjourned as judge refuses to hear the appeal

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Asia Bibi’s appeal case has been adjourned as a judge refused to hear the case for Asia Bibi. The judge maintained that he cannot be part a crucial case, which means the three-member bench is dismissed. A new bench will be established in order to hear the case on next hearing. The bench also remarked that the appeal petition against Asia Bibi’s death sentence will be sent to the Chief Justice of Pakistan who will decide course of action regarding this case.

Asia Bibi appeal case hearing

In line with details, Justice Iqbal Hameed member of the Supreme Court bench refused to hear the case maintaining that he also heard the high profile case of assignation of Salman Taseer therefore, he will not hear Asia Bibi’s case. The case was adjourned until unspecified date. This bench was headed by Justice Mian Saqib Nisar who declared that Justice Iqbal Hameed will not hear the case.

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This is the first instance when the apex court has heard a case involving Section 295-C of the Pakistan Penal Code, while Asia Bibi is the first female respondent to have been awarded capital punishment under this law. Asia Bibi’s defense counsel had filed a petition against her death sentence in January 2015 – calling for dissolution of the ruling. In July, 2015 a Supreme Court bench had heard the case and temporarily halted implementation of her death sentence.

Asia Bibi’s defense counsel Advocate Saif ul Malook, maintained that the facts were not kept in view while deciding the case. In her petition, it was claimed that the Sessions court had not born the facts and lack of substantial evidence before ruling. In 2010, a court in district Nankana awarded her capital punishment, which was later upheld by the a two-member bench of Lahore High Court in 2014.In 2009, blasphemy accusations were heaped upon the Christian woman by her fellow workers following a row over a cup of water.