Complainant in Aasia Bibi case files review petition, govt distances itself

Published November 1, 2018
The apex court has acquitted Asia Bibi, a Christian woman condemned to death on blasphemy charges, after accepting her appeal against her sentence. —File
The apex court has acquitted Asia Bibi, a Christian woman condemned to death on blasphemy charges, after accepting her appeal against her sentence. —File

The complainant in the Aasia Bibi case, Qari Muhammad Salaam, on Thursday filed a review petition through his counsel Ghulam Mustafa against the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Aasia's conviction in a blasphemy case.

The petitioner has also sought the placement of Aasia's name on the Exit Control List (ECL) till the judgement is reviewed.

Meanwhile, the ruling party has clarified that it has nothing to do with the review petition and it has not placed Aasia's name on the ECL and does not plan to do so, despite rumours circulating to the contrary.

The confusion was exacerbated by the party's own information minister for Punjab, Fayyazul Hasan Chauhan, who made a statement to this effect on a TV channel.

Earlier on Wednesday, the apex court had acquitted Aasia, a Christian mother condemned to death on blasphemy charges, accepting her appeal against her sentencing.

Know more: Country remains tense on day 2 of protests against Aasia Bibi's acquittal

In the review petition, filed at the Lahore registry of the apex court, the complainant has urged the Supreme Court to reconsider yesterday's decision.

In the petition, it has been argued that the Supreme Court of Pakistan's acquittal of Aasia Bibi did not meet the standards of jurisprudence as well as Islamic provisions and the "normal principle of justice with reference to application in blasphemy laws".

It has also asked whether the Supreme Court of Pakistan was bound to take into consideration "the nature of the case" and consider all the technical faults in it — especially the inordinate delay in the filing of the First Information Report, the defective investigation — and let them become "a hurdle in the dispensation of justice, in view of the application of blasphemy laws read with judgments of the superior courts."

It has further asked that a member of the Appellate Shariat Court be included in the bench that reviews the judgement "because this matter needs detailed in-depth consideration and due to the peculiar circumstances of the case as well as Application of Section 295-C in its time letter and spirit."

It has also challenged the Supreme Court's dismissal of the alleged 'confession' that Aasia Bibi was forced to make by the people of her village and argued that the Supreme Court should have applied the Law of Evidence differently in this case.

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