Government should ensure no one is entangled in “false blasphemy charges” says, Supreme Court of Pakistan

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Supreme Court of Pakistan

The Supreme Court of Pakistan urges the government to take necessary steps to guarantee that no one ever undergoes a trial on the basis of false blasphemy charges.

The Apex Court remarked while issuing written decree on the dismissal of Mumtaz Qadri’s appeal against death sentence, today on Tuesday, October 28. At this occasion, the Supreme Court bench commented that the Government of Pakistan should make sure that no body gets entangled in falsely fabricated blasphemy charges.

Earlier on October 6, a three member bench had turned down the appeal against death sentence of Mumtaz Qadri. In today’s hearing, Justice Asif Saeed Khosa remarked that Mumtaz Qadri murdered Salman Taseer because of hearsay and that Salman Taseer had not committed blasphemy.

“It is an unfortunate fact which cannot be disputed that in many cases registered in respect of the offence of blasphemy, false allegations are levelled for extraneous purposes,” he stated in a 39 page verdict.

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Justice Asif Saeed Khosa was of the opinion that it is the lack of satisfactory measure that may protect people from abuse of blasphemy law. As a result, people who get entwined in the false blasphemy accusations or charges always have to suffer a lot.

The Supreme Court noted that any act considered blasphemy is repulsive and believed to be immoral besides in addition to being a manifestation of intolerance in our society. However, where blasphemy is believed to be repulsive, any attempt of fabricating false blasphemy charges against anyone is and should be considered equally repulsive and blameworthy.

The Apex Court in its order stated that, “If the asserted religious motivation of the appellant (Qadri) … is to be accepted as a valid mitigating circumstance in this case, then a door shall open for religious vigilantism which may deal a mortal blow to the rule of law in this country.”

“On the subject of Qadri’s claim that Taseer used to indulge in ‘immoral activities’, the court said: “…it was not just the alleged commission of blasphemy by Taseer which prompted the appellant to kill him, but there was some element of personal hatred for Taseer which too had played some part in propelling the appellant into action against him. Such mixture of personal hatred with the asserted religious motivation had surely diluted, if not polluted, the acclaimed purity of the appellant’s purpose,2 the order read.