Criticising Blasphemy Laws Is Not Blasphemy: Supreme Court
Justice Asif Saeed Khosa while hearing the appeal of Mumtaz Qadri (the killer of former Punjab governor Salman Taseer) declared that criticism of the blasphemy law did not amount to blasphemy.
The blasphemy laws were introduced during the regime of General Ziaul Haq in 1986. Around 1,194 people have been charged under these laws since then. This area of law is highly sensitive and any demand for change or reform in law has often received criticism and back lash along with threats of dire consequences, even death.
The court also observed that the entire defence of Mumtaz Qadri will be rendered irrelevant if his lawyer failed to prove that Salman Taseer committed blasphemy. It is important to mention at this point that the accused confessed to his crime, said he killed the former governor because he committed blasphemy by calling the laws “black laws.”
A three-member bench headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa also established that the press clippings presented in court are unable to establish sufficient evidence to prove that the former governor had committed blasphemy. It was also added that no concrete evidence had been presented in the court which could show that Salam Taseer had committed blasphemy as he had only pointed out the defects in the law which did not constitute a crime.