Asia Bibi’s appeal put off again

Lawyers say it is rare for a case not to be heard after it has been fixed by a court.

Rana Tanveer April 21, 2014
Aasia Bibi.


An appeal by Asia Bibi, sentenced to death on charge of blasphemy, could not be heard last week although the case had been fixed before a Lahore High Court’s (LHC) special division bench.

Lawyers say it is rare for a case not to be heard after it has been fixed by a court; if a bench is unable to take up the case, it is forwarded to another.

Bibi’s appeal had earlier been fixed for hearing on February 24 and March 17. It could not be heard then as one of the judges on the bench was not available. The case was adjourned again without any progress on March 26. On April 14, the case was adjourned indefinitely as the bench was against not available.

“This is the fourth Easter without her. We were hoping for the case to be disposed of but it has been delayed,” her husband Ashique Masih told The Express Tribune.

BA (hons), BSc (hons)  eligible for LLB

An LHC division bench declared BA (honours) and BSc (honours) degree holders eligible for admission to LLB programmes.

A petitioner told the court he had obtained a four-year BSc degree from the University of the Punjab but he had been declared ineligible for admission to LLB. He said this amounted to discrimination and violated fundamental rights protected in the Constitution, he said.

Allama Iqbal Medical College

Last week, the LHC restrained the Allama Iqbal Medical College (AIMC) from collecting $10,000 each from its students. The students had challenged the AIMC fee in the LHC. Their counsel said the court had set the amount at $5,000. He said some other medical colleges were collecting up to $7,000 from their foreign students.

Ban on Baisakhi festival

The LHC dismissed a petition against a ban on Baisakhi Mela celebrations in Gujranwala.

Justice Ijazul Ahsan dismissed the petition after he was informed that the ban had been imposed due to security reasons.

Muhammad Ishaq, the petitioner, said the festival had been celebrated for 500 years.

The Gujranwala city police officer told the court on Tuesday there were reports about a potential terrorist attack on the celebrations. He said police were unable to provide security for the festival.

No bail for ‘windows’ thief’

The LHC dismissed a bail application by a man who had allegedly stolen windowpanes from a Metro Bus station.

Yousuf Masih told the court he had been wrongfully implicated in the case.

A Mozang police officer said Masih, a sweeper, had been caught stealing the aluminum windows. He said police had also recovered some other stolen material from him.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 21st, 2014.


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