Salman Taseer listens to Asia Bibi at a prison in Sheikhupura.— Photo by AP (File)

RAWALPINDI: The Lahore High Court turned down on Wednesday a plea for registration of a criminal case against Punjab governor for allegedly denouncing blasphemy laws and helping a woman convicted under these laws.

Justice Shahid Hameed Dar of the LHC’s Rawalpindi bench disposed of the petition filed by Sardar Zaheer Ahmed, an advocate from Attock, saying that an identical petition was pending before LHC Chief Justice Khwaja Mohammad Sharif.

The petitioner did not press for further hearings after the court said that no criminal case could be registered against the governor because he enjoyed immunity under the Constitution. It also said the petitioner could not provide any evidence suggesting that the governor had committed blasphemy, except for a few newspaper clippings criticising the governor for allegedly assailing blasphemy laws.

Aasia Bibi, a 45-year-old mother of five, was sentenced to death by a trial court in Nankana district after a few Muslim women alleged she had uttered derogatory remarks against Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

Making the federal government, Governor Salman Taseer and Aasia Bibi as respondents, the petitioner had alleged that the governor had met Aasia in Sheikhupura jail and got a few documents signed for her release.

Advocate Zaheer also alleged that the government had planned to extradite Aasia Bibi and requested the court to stop the government from releasing her.

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