Fit to stand trial: Blasphemy case reopened after 4 years

Accused had been sent to hospital for treatment of mental illness.

Our Correspondent July 21, 2013
Accused had been sent to hospital for treatment of mental illness. PHOTO: EXPRESS


An additional district and sessions judge has summoned the case record of a blasphemy trial after the counsel for the accused sought the reopening of the case, stating that his client was now fit to stand trial.

The trial of Zulfiqar, who allegedly burnt a copy of the Holy Quran, was put on hold on July 6, 2009, after the Punjab Institute of Mental Health reported that he was mentally ill and could not be tried.

Then Additional District and Sessions Judge Mehar Muhammad Yousaf had ordered that Zulfiqar be put in a mental hospital and the trial could resume when he recovered.

Advocate Ehtisham Ali Awan, the counsel for the accused, filed a petition seeking the reopening of the case, upon which the court on Saturday summoned the record for July 22.

According to the FIR registered at Race Course police station, Parks and Horticulture Authority employees Qaisar Mehmood, Shehzad Ali and Abdul Jabbar saw Zulfiqar setting fire to a book on May 11, 2006, on Dharampura Bridge.

According to Mehmood, the complainant in the cases, upon closer inspection they saw that Zulfiqar had set fire to the Holy Quran and had been trying to collect the ashes in a bottle. They then turned him over to police.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 21st, 2013.

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