Additional District and Sessions Judge Shaukat Kamal Dar on Wednesday dismissed the post-arrest bail petition of a man accused of blasphemy who had already been denied bail three times.
Abdul Shakoor alias Baba Sahib allegedly instructed a follower of his late father, Ghafoor Shah, to recite the kalma but with the Holy Prophet Muhammad’s (peace be upon him) name substituted with his father’s name. Shakoor is the mutawali, or caretaker, of his father’s shrine.
The follower, Liaqat Ali, is also in jail.
The complainant in the case is Qari Shaukat, the imam of a mosque next to the graveyard where Ghafoor Shah’s shrine is located. Shaukat claims to have recorded the alleged blasphemy on his mobile phone.
Shakoor told the court on Wednesday that he had been falsely accused by the imam, with whom he had personal differences as well as a dispute over some land. He said that the so-called recording had not been sent to a lab, so there was no real evidence that it was his voice.
He said that the location from where the imam purported to have made the recording was some 30 feet from the shrine. It was not possible for him to have made a clear recording from that distance on a cheap mobile phone, he said.
Shakoor said that the only witness Shaukat had produced in support of his complaint resided with the imam in the mosque. He said that the complainant had a personal grudge against him because he had not invited the imam to his father’s urs or to a nikah. Further, they had a dispute over some land.
He said that he had been in jail for 14 months for a crime he had not committed and he deserved bail.
Advocate Ghulam Mustafa Chaudhry, counsel for the complainant, said that the imam had heard the allegedly blasphemous recitation when he got up early in the morning for tahajjud prayers. He said he had heard Shakoor direct Liaqat Ali to make the allegedly blasphemous utterance.
He said when the imam instructed him not to do so, Shakoor insulted and threatened him.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 28th, 2013.
More in PakistanState of play: Not the walk in the park you imagined