Pakistan

On What Basis Did SC Released Asia Bibi?

Throughout country the protest on release of Asia Bibi has turned into severe riots along with criticism and doubtful fingers on the tolerance of Pakistan’s Law regarding blasphemy.

Supreme court ordered release of a 40 year old mother Asia bibi from jail after nine years on the base of following points:

  1. According to initial statements 25-30 women were present at the scenario but only two accused or reported the matter to anyone. The rest did not appear in front of court to support the accusation or to bear witness.

2. The FIR was registered with a delay of 5 days. In absence of any plausible explanation, it castes a suspicion on the prosecution story, extending the benefit of doubt to the accused: “Another important aspect of the matter is that the complainant (PW-1) in his statement admitted that the application for registration of FIR was drafted by an Advocate; however, he could not mention his name. This also cast doubt on the truthfulness of the story narrated in the FIR.” SC judgement explained.

3. Witnesses in the case gave contradictory statements: First of all many details were not mentioned in the initial statements. Secondly, the place of gathering was different in both women statements, these two women are also sisters and the third witness (man) mentioned another place of gathering which contradicts with both sisters statement.

Via dawn
via dawn

4. There is no consensus on incident date between prosecution witnesses and complaint: “A further conflict also prevails between the other PWs and the complainant. Other PWs stated that the matter was brought to the notice of complainant on the same day i.e. 14.6.2009; however, the complainant during his cross-examination stated that he was informed of the occurrence on 16.6.2009.” (SC judgement)

5. Contradictory statements regarding FIR and Asia Bibi arrest: one of the statements recorded claimed the FIR was registered at “bridge canal Chandar Cot” another said it was registered through application and then it was claimed that FIR was formally registered at station.

6. Both sisters Mafia and Asma lied about not engaging into a fight with Asia Bibi over water fetch. The plantation owner and investigation officer “admitted in their statements that an altercation/quarrel took place between them [Asma, Mafia and Asia], thus the factum of quarrel is proved from the record”. Hence the SC judgement clarified the sisters Asma and Mafia “could not be termed as truthful witnesses and the death sentence could not be inflicted on the testimony of such eyewitnesses”.

7. On Extra-judicial confession SC judged: “In this very instant case, the appellant was brought to a gathering of potentially hundreds of people, she was alone at the time, tensions were running high, and it was an intimidating environment, the appellant may well have felt threatened and vulnerable; thus, the alleged extra-judicial confession made by the appellant, even if presumed to have been made by her before such public gathering, cannot be termed as a voluntary action and nor it can be relied upon to form the basis of a conviction, especially for capital punishment.”

As always, the judgement of common people is entirely based on subjectivity and hence warning the court about judgment in favor would have its consequences which apparently and unfortunately did. The SC judgement has been laid down according with constitution.

Causing harm to life and property and spreading fear among Prophet (P.B.U.H) umah is not an act of love and honor for our last prophet but rather extremism and another chance to land Islam in category of religion of hatred and dominance.

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