LAHORE: Sajjad Masih sentenced to life in prison over alleged blasphemy accusations and no potential evidence.
A 29 year old, Christian man in recent times sentenced to life in prison by a local court for allegedly sending blasphemous text messages, although the prosecution’s substantiation was said to be very much doubtful. Additional District and Sessions Judge Mian Shahzad Raza of Toba Tek Singh district ruled that Sajjad Masih a lifetime imprisonment fined him 200,000 Rupees. However, the second major questionable facet of this case is the charges brought against Sajjad Masih.
According to reports, prosecutors claimed that Sajjad Masih used the cell phone of his ex-fiancé Roma to text a Muslim cleric with blasphemous messages in 2011.The complainants also assert that Sajjad did this to trap Roma, seeking revenge against her after their relationship suspended.
As reported by an international News Wire; The Times of India, Sajjad Masih was at first charged with breaching a section of Pakistan’s “Telegraph Act.” Telegraphic Act is a compilation of communication rules created in 1885. Times of India added exclusively, that he was charged with violating Telegraph Act section 25B, titled “Theft of Telegraph Line.”
Telegraph Act Section 25B says:
“If any person commits theft of a telegraph line, copper wire, cable or cable accessory,” the law states, “he shall be punished with rigorous imprisonment for a term which is not less than one year and not more than seven years and also with fine.”
Despite the fact that prosecutors claimed initially that Sajjad Masih’s stealing of his fiancé’s phone was liable to be punished under Telegraph Act Section 25 B, nonetheless they eventually chiselled out accusations a greatly more severe charge: blasphemy. Under Act XLV, section XV of Pakistan’s Penal Code; anyone who speaks offensive utterances about Prophet Muhammad is punishable by fine, life imprisonment or death.
Act XLV Section XV says:
“Whoever by words, either spoken or written, or by visible representation or by any imputation, innuendo, or insinuation, directly or indirectly, defiles the sacred name of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) shall be punished with death, or imprisonment for life, and shall also be liable to fine,” the 150-year-old law mandates.
This adjustment of charges by the prosecution and their inability to present any evidence against Sajjad Masih yet sentenced to life in prison are all doubtful appearances of this case.