Apex court’s three-member special bench will hear the appeal case of Asia Bibi on Monday, October 8. Asia Bibi is a Pakistani Christian woman on death row after being convicted of committing blasphemy. On Friday, October 5 the Supreme Court issued a supplementary cause list which is seen as the great white hope.
Asia Bibi has is currently behind the bars. Her case was taken up by the apex court in October 2016, but the hearing was adjourned because one of the judges refused to be part of the bench hearing the case. The bench all set to hear Asia Bibi’s 2014 appeal (Asia Bibi v. The State, etc) on Monday includes, Justice Asif Saeed Khosa and Justice Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel and Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar who will be heading this bench. The Supreme Court has issued notice to the additional prosecutor general of Punjab to be present for the hearing.
Monday’s hearing comes as the first ray of light for Asia Bibi since her appeal hearing was adjourned indefinitely in October 2016. In case, the apex court rejects her appeal; Presidential pardon will be her only recourse. So far, nobody has been executed under blasphemy laws.
In 2009, Asia Bibi was accused of committing blasphemy by her co-workers.
Asia Bibi, an internationally known Christian victim of false blasphemy charges is languishing in the jail for almost nine years. In her early session court hearings, she denied blasphemy accusations. But the court was pressurized by local as well as national religious forces; as a result, session judge of Sheikhupura Courts, Muhammad Naveed Iqbal, handed capital punishment to her.
Her capital punishment was challenged in the Lahore High Court in 2014 which not only left her in despair but additionally High Court’s stay order against presidential pardon. The Supreme Court is now all set to take up her appeal case in two days’ time.