The Supreme Court on Monday overturned an order by the Balochistan High Court and exonerated an accused facing life imprisonment on allegations of desecrating the Holy Quran.

“The high court as well as the lower court should not have punished the accused since the allegations levelled against him did not fulfil the requirement of the blasphemy laws under Section 295(b) of the Pakistan Penal Code,” said Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, who was heading a three member Supreme Court bench.

Justice Khosa added that neither the allegations were proved nor any evidence was truly appreciated.

The bench had taken up an appeal by Khuda Bakhsh against the BHC’s upholding of life imprisonment earlier awarded by a sessions court.

Justice Dost Mohammad Khan, another member of the bench, also asked the government to make policies regarding old newspapers which have verses from the Holy Quran printed, in order to ensure the holy scriptures are not desecrated.

The apex court on the occasion regretted that the high court and the trial court awarded life imprisonment without realising that the allegation of burning the Holy Quran was never proved, as punishment to any offence should be handed down after the offence has been established in accordance with the law.

Justice Khosa also asked on the occasion whether anyone had an idea where newspapers with verses from the Holy Quran went after being read.

Justice Khan said that sometimes writings in Arabic were misconstrued as the holy scriptures and it may have transpired that the accused learnt from his elders to burn them.

“In our religion there is no room for those who are guilty of desecrating the Holy Quran but an innocent cannot be awarded life imprisonment merely on the basis of allegation,” said the judge.

Khuda Bux was arrested in district Naseerabad of Balochistan for allegedly burning the pages from the Holy Quran and then throwing them into a sewer drain. He was imprisoned for four years and eight months.

Opinion

Editorial

Militancy redux
Updated 12 Aug, 2022

Militancy redux

There is fear and confusion all around, and it is for the state to bring clarity to the situation.
Distorting history
12 Aug, 2022

Distorting history

WHEN history is co-opted by ideologically overzealous elements, expect the facts to die a quick death, and...
Dengue danger
12 Aug, 2022

Dengue danger

WITH rains continuing across most of the country, a dengue outbreak can quickly become a major headache for health...
Khorasani’s killing
11 Aug, 2022

Khorasani’s killing

OMAR Khalid Khorasani, a dreaded TTP ‘commander’, lived by the sword and very much died by the sword. But beyond...
Gross overreaction
Updated 11 Aug, 2022

Gross overreaction

The government has already done considerable damage to itself with its indelicate handling of the situation.
Dadu deaths
11 Aug, 2022

Dadu deaths

DISEASES that are usually mild and preventable in countries with developed healthcare systems often prove to be...