Where is the suo moto notice for Aasia?
I would like the Chief Justice to answer why he is hesitant to take suo moto notice on this rather critical issue.
Our honourable Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry has enough time to visit the Supreme Court at midnight to conduct meetings pertaining to hearsay reports on the government’s attempts to take down the judiciary, but he has not had the time to take notice (for days now) of a glaring issue in his own judicial system: the death sentence awarded to Aasia Bibi for blasphemy.
I would like the Chief Justice to answer why he is hesitant to take suo moto notice on this rather critical issue which Amnesty International has lambasted, the Pope has appealed on and our own President has now taken notice of. When it comes to corruption, I thought speedy suo moto notices were the norm now – what is different in this case?
I will let the honourable Chief Justice know what the rumor mills and the voice of the people have to say on this account.
Conspiracy 1: Some are saying our honourable judiciary is facing a dilemma on this case as it has already been passed from lower court to the Lahore High Court. What is the Chief Justice to do they say? A suo moto notice on andhar ki baat? Could he opt to beat down on his own black-coated brethren when they are corrupt? No, they say, he wouldn’t do that. Heads hang in shame and people in drawing rooms go ‘tut tut’ and cite a recent Transparency International report that claims our judiciary is the number one corrupt institution in the country.
Conspiracy 2: Some more word on the street. This particular case has gone down in Punjab and it is connected to an unnamed landlord say our local rumor mongers citing investigation undertaken by the National Commission on the Status of Women. Punjab is also the stronghold of a tiger who has a relationship with the judiciary which extends beyond the healthy these rumor mongers say - why rock the boat by nitpicking on issues in Punjab when 'the enemy' is elsewhere? Those who listen to these rumours unfortunately make connections between landlord X, our tiger and our black coats. The plot thickens, but then again, who should trust word on the street? It is notoriously unreliable and loaded with political agenda of its own. Unfortunately, that is what happens when an issue remains glaringly unaddressed.
What can be said in fairly reliable terms is that this case, nay, the blasphemy laws themselves are a tool that have been used time and again to settle personal vendettas and to maintain a deadly hegemony over values, which reeks of an extremist mindset, that is: if you don’t agree with me, I will kill you.
This is unjust, and in this case in particular, it is cruel. I await the honourable Chief Justice’s speedy response.