CJP Isa directs police to handle blasphemy cases 'diligently'

SC grants bail to blasphemy accused; says further investigation required in case

Our Correspondent February 14, 2024
Chief Justice of Pakistan Qazi Faez Isa. PHOTO: EXPRESS/FILE


Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Qazi Faez Isa directed the police on Wednesday to ensure that "religion is not used for personal purposes" and emphasised handling blasphemy cases "with diligence".

A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice Isa, and comprising Justice Musarrat Hilali and Justice Mohammad Ali Mazhar heard the case. The bench granted bail to blasphemy accused Zubair Sabri on a surety bond of Rs50,000, and ordered a further inquiry into the blasphemy case.

The Supreme Court (SC) directed that keeping in view the sensitivity of blasphemy cases the supervision and investigation will not be carried out by an officer below the rank of SP.

In compliance with the SC's order, the SSP and SP Islamabad Police appeared in court where CJP Isa questioned: "Whether the SP or SSP should be suspended for violating the law ?"

The lawyer argued that the police are scared of blasphemy cases; they register a case as soon as one comes. To this CJP Isa replied, "Who will remain courageous if the police become timid?"

Furthermore, Justice Isa asked, "Can the police enter someone's house without a warrant? Where did the sanctity and respect for privacy go? He inquired from the SSP, "Can someone search your home without a warrant?"

Read Mentally unfit blasphemy suspect given bail

According to the Police Order 2002, entering someone's house without a warrant is punishable by five years, stated Justice Isa. He further said, "You have made a blasphemy case based on a picture as if you are the protector of Islam."

Justice Isa said that first a blasphemy case was registered, then an arrest was made, and then the photo was recovered.

The complainant took his friend to a spiritual figure to have him blessed, where he saw the 'inappropriate' picture and filed a case. Justice Isa lamented how the police are scared despite carrying official weapons. "We are tired of such cases," the CJP observed.

CJP Isa asked the complainant if "the Holy Quran mentions spiritual figures?". He replied that "The Quran mentions a guiding force, not a spiritual figure". Justice Isa again stressed to the complainant to answer his question.

The complainant defending himself told the court that he does not even believe in spiritual leaders, he only took his friend to one. At this, Justice Hilali questioned that if the complaint did not believe in spiritual leaders, why did he not take his friend to a doctor?

CJP Isa asked the police for how long the spiritual leader had been in custody. "Seven months," replied the officer. Justice Mussarat Hilali sarcastically remarked, "Does the spiritual figure's blessings not work on himself that he has been in jail for the past seven months?"

The chief justice maintained that the police must ensure that blasphemy laws are not misused for personal gain, emphasizing that complaints are dealt with due diligence.


Replying to X

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.

For more information, please see our Comments FAQ