‘Blasphemy’: Arguments fixed for March 20

Accused declared mentally unfit; Board never met, says complainant.


Our Correspondent March 16, 2012

LAHORE:


A judge on Friday fixed March 20 for arguments on an application that requests that the court summon minutes of a medical board meeting in which a blasphemy accused was declared mentally unstable.


Advocate Ghulam Mustafa Chaudhry, counsel for the complainant, also wants the court to examine correspondence between jail authorities and the Punjab Institute of Mental Health executive director. He has also requested that the statement of Dr Tahir Pervaiz – the psychiatrist who kept the accused under observation – be also recorded.

Advocate Chaudhry contended that the Punjab Institute of Mental Health report had been manipulated. According to him, the board had never met.

On another application, the judge also sought a report from jail authorities over why the accused had not been transferred to a psychiatric ward despite Supreme Court orders.

Muhammad Qasim registered an FIR against Sultan Rafi* on March 30, 2011 in which he stated that on March 28 he had received a ‘blasphemous’ text on his mobile phone. He said that after pursuing the matter, he had learnt that the SIM was issued in Rafi’s name.

*The name of the accused has been changed to protect his identity

Published in The Express Tribune, March 17th, 2012.

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