Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar on Thursday observed how the court could hand down punishment to someone if no case was made out against him.
The observation came a day after the top court acquitted a Christian woman for blasphemy, sparking country-wide protests.
The chief justice, while hearing a federal government’s plea for the appointment of permanent inspector general of Islamabad, said, “The judges are lovers of the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him).”
The chief justice said that though he was unaware of the developments happening in the country, “no one should ever doubt the love for the Holy Prophet (PBUH) in the hearts of Supreme Court judges”.
The chief justice, while addressing Attorney General for Pakistan Anwar Mansoor Khan, categorically stated that a few judges keep reciting Durood Shareef while sitting in the benches.
“Judges of the Supreme Court are here to dispense justice not only for the Muslims, but they are judges for every citizen of Pakistan equally,” he said and added, “Our faith is incomplete without having faith on the Holy Prophet (PBUH).”
The top judge questioned whether anyone read the detailed judgment in the Aasia Bibi case.
He, while referring to the verdict, said it comprehensively discussed the faith on the Holy Prophet (PBUH), adding “that’s why the Supreme Court issued the judgment in Urdu”.
“In the verdict, we have compressively mentioned the beliefs on the Holy Prophet (PBUH). We cannot compromise on the issue of blasphemy and we are ready to sacrifice our lives to protect the honour of the Holy Prophet (PBUH).”
“How can we convict someone, if no case is made out against him?” the chief justice asked and said, “There is difference between faith and evidence.”
Justice Nisar observed that it was the government’s duty to maintain law and order in the country.
The chief justice, in his judgment in the Aasia Bibi case, had narrated the history of insertion of blasphemy clauses in the law and referred to the incident of Ghazi Ilm-ud-din Shaheed of 1923, and said he is considered by the Muslims to be a great lover of the Holy Prophet (PBUH).
After independence, to ensure that no attempt could be made to defame the Holy Prophet (PBUH) a new provision (295C) was introduced in Pakistan Penal Code, 1860 (PPC).
As per this provision, the act of blasphemy was made culpable and the sentence provided was either death or imprisonment for life along with a fine.
Meanwhile, the three-judge bench led by the chief justice, rejected the federal government’s plea, seeking appointment of a permanent police chief keeping in view the prevailing law and order situation in the federal capital.
The application, moved by Attorney General for Pakistan Anwar Mansoor Khan on behalf of the federal government, claimed that Jan Muhammad was out of the country.
The bench; however, allowed the government to give acting/additional charge to another senior officer in the event of Jan’s absence. However, the court will resume suo motu proceedings regarding the transfer of IG Islamabad today (Friday).