LAHORE: The Lahore High Court on Monday granted post-arrest bail to a man facing trial on blasphemy charge for over four years.
The suspect was a juvenile when Phoolnagar Saddar police, Kasur district, arrested him in 2016 following an FIR registered under sections 295 and 295-A of Pakistan Penal Code against him on the complaint of one Akhtar Ali.
The PPC sections in the FIR deal with the offences of injuring or defiling a place of worship, with intent to insult the religion of any class and deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs.
The suspect’s counsel argued before the high court that his client had been languishing behind bars for the last four and a half years with no progress in the trial.
The counsel said the forensic report proved that the alleged blasphemous post in a WhatsApp group had not been generated by the petitioner, who is now 20-years old.
He argued the legal requirements for the registration of the FIR on the blasphemy charge including approval from the deputy commissioner (for filing a case), had not been fulfilled by the police.
The counsel said the complainant had been delaying the proceedings on one pretext or another while the prosecution had also not presented the evidence so far.
After hearing the arguments, the judge allowed the bail petition subject to furnishing bonds.
Published in Dawn, March 2nd, 2021