Lahore: Local judge expounds inevitable need for amendments in blasphemy legislation

527

A former Lahore High Court judge has laid emphasis on the inexorable amendments in the controversial blasphemy legislation. He had advised revisions in at least five provisions of the draconian legislation. The judge had purportedly put forth recommendations while expressing remarks regarding ways to prevent misuse of blasphemy law.

Lahore High Court judge recommends changes in blasphemy law

In keeping with a report from a Christian advocacy group Barnabas Fund- a one-man tribunal had recommended to get the blasphemy legislation consistent with the Article 25 of the Constitution. He had recommended that at least five provisions of the blasphemy legislation need to be revisited.

Also Read: Celebrating minorities’ day is pointless while minorities are deprived of rights says J. Salik

According to the report prepared by one-man tribunal the proposed amendments in the provisions of 295 – B (desecration of Islamic holy book Quran), 295-C (defamatory remarks regarding Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)), 298 – A (derogatory remarks against holy personalities of Islam), 298-B (misuse of epithets, descriptions and titles reserved for certain personages or places of Muslims), and 298-C (Member of Ahmadi sect calling himself a Muslim or preaching or propagating his faith in any way).

This one-man tribunal was assigned the task to scrutinize the heinous incident in Christian Colony, Gojra back in August 2009. A mob of thousands of Muslims launched an attack against the Christian neighborhood and burnt down about 60 houses of Christians. This rampage claimed lives of eight Christians, following blasphemy accusations against Christians.

The judge had asserted that the five provisions discussed in his report backed religious injustices- perpetrators of the anti-religious minorities violence and sectarian attacks get protection under the auspices of the discussed provisions. Recently, the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) had pointed fingers at the police for doing little for the imperiled religious minorities. AHRC stated that police had been inactive while the Christians in a village near Mandi Bahuddin were suffering socio-economic boycott, and a choice between converting to Islam or abandoning their homes.

AHRC said, “The situation is getting worse with each passing day. The Christians are living in constant fear that their houses may be set on fire by a mob if the police does not provide them with round the clock security.”