Man appeals 1-month blasphemy sentence, lands in jail for 3 years

Published: October 18, 2011

The accused man, who is a retired schoolteacher, was charged with passing insulting remarks against the family of Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) and Sahaba-e-Rasool (peace be upon them).

SUKKUR: 

Mehram Wahocho may have shot himself in the foot by appealing his one-month sentence in a blasphemy case, as he has now been sentenced to three years in jail and a Rs5,000 fine.

The district and sessions judge in Kamber Shahdadkot handed down the sentence on October 13. The accused man, who is a retired schoolteacher, was charged with passing insulting remarks against the family of Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) and Sahaba-e-Rasool (peace be upon them). He has now been transferred to Central Jail, Larkana.

The case dates to two years ago. Ameer Ali Wahocho, a resident of Warah, filed a case with the police against Mehram Wahocho. In his statement to the police, Ameer Ali accused Mehram Wahocho of making the insulting remarks.

The police then arrested Wahocho and charge sheeted him in the court of the judicial magistrate in Warah. Mehram was sentenced to one-month in jail.

He then filed an appeal in the court of the district and sessions judge of Kamber Shahdadkot. His lawyer also appealed for bail, which was approved.

However, while Wahocho was appealing his sentence, Ameer Ali also filed a review petition against the judgment through his lawyer Mansoor Tunio. He asked the court to increase Wahocho’s punishment on the grounds that the lower court’s judgment paled in comparison to the offense.

Lawyer Mansoor Tunio told The Express Tribune that the case dragged on in court for over a year and a half, because Wahocho’s lawyer would be absent on the scheduled hearing dates, a tactic commonly employed by lawyers to prolong a case.

On October 13, the district and sessions judge of Kamber Shahdadkot finally announced the verdict that has now put Wahocho in jail for three years instead of his earlier one-month sentence.

Sindh has a comparatively low rate of blasphemy cases as compared to Punjab, where the majority of cases in Pakistan are recorded. In the past year alone, there have been several notable cases in Karachi, including that of a 17-year-old student accused of writing sacrilegious remarks in an exam. According to the Sindh police website, 33 cases of blasphemy were reported in the province from January to August 2011.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 18th, 2011.

Reader Comments (14)

  • Oct 18, 2011 - 3:51AM

    Incredible.

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  • faraz
    Oct 18, 2011 - 11:09AM

    He made a fatal mistake. The punishment in Blasphemy cases has more to do with the ideological bend of the judge rather than the magnitude of offense.

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  • hasan shafi
    Oct 18, 2011 - 11:10AM

    this can happen only in Pakistan!

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  • John B
    Oct 18, 2011 - 12:24PM

    So, there are different degrees of blasphemy and punishment is given according to the severity of blasphemy?

    What was the degree of blasphemy of Aasia Bibi?

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  • Word Life
    Oct 18, 2011 - 12:53PM

    I am reading all the stupid comments

    Instead of the accused, it was the plaintiff whose appeal was approved what’s so Strange or Incredible in that?

    By the way, it was because of lawyer of Wahocho (the accused, now convictred), that the case dragged on for over a year and a half, would be absent on the scheduled hearing dates, a tactic commonly employed by lawyers to prolong a case

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  • Word Life
    Oct 18, 2011 - 12:54PM

    Please do not make comments, just for the heck for it, untill you read and understand the news item first

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  • Talal
    Oct 18, 2011 - 2:26PM

    Things like this…GOSH! I feel ashamed of fellow Pakistanis! Allah!

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  • Oct 18, 2011 - 5:30PM

    It looks very obvious that the man is innocent and all he had to differ with the complainer was sectarian differences! Recommend

  • Feroz
    Oct 18, 2011 - 6:41PM

    No case can be decided based on one mans charge against another. What was the documentary evidence based on which the learned Judge delivered the verdict ? I sincerely hope the Judge did not base the verdict on oral allegations as any two individuals can have enmity.

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  • Babloo
    Oct 19, 2011 - 1:25AM

    Is appealing against blasphemy conviction blasphemy ?
    What do the learned Ulema say ?

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  • csmann
    Oct 19, 2011 - 4:12AM

    He should still be thankful some mullahs did not get involved;it could have been death
    -look like the plaintiff(accuser) has had a grudge against the accused;it is his word against the accused;but being a blasphemy case,the burden has to be on the accused to prove his innocence;so some punishment is a must,even if there was no evidence

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  • voila
    Oct 19, 2011 - 7:05AM

    lesson learnt… don’t appeal if you have been punished by a court,your chances of getting an enhanced sentence are more than the relief…if he appeals now to a superior court,he may very well end up getting a lifer…such are the ironies of law

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  • Mirza
    Oct 19, 2011 - 7:41AM

    Too bad this guy is not Qadri the hero of LHC judges and lawyers.

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  • Oct 19, 2011 - 10:38PM

    The judge who enhanced the punishment should feel shame as the accused was a retired teacher who taught education to children. Now and then I feel that a new armed cadre to be established to eliminate all these blasphemy accusers and the judges who pronounce this type of judgments.

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