Pakistan’s Supreme Court on Wednesday acquitted Christian woman Aasia Bibi from blasphemy charges.
Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar announced the judgment ordering for Bibi’s release from jail in case no other charges against her.
The top court amid tight security due to sensitivity of case has also set aside the Lahore High Court judgment, wherein Aasia Bibi was awarded death sentence.
The case had been prominent since the assasination of Former Governor Punjab by his guard after he uttered in favor of Aasia Bibi and exploitation of Blasphemy Law in the country.
It is also pertinent to mention here that Mumtaz Qadri, the guard, had also been executed.
On October 8, while reserving the judgment on the appeal of death row Christian woman, the top court observed that the case had to be decided on the basis of evidences. It also noted that the prosecution was weak in prosecuting the case.
Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar had observed that there were no two choices on the issue of blasphemy and it was a heinous act but the benefit of doubt will go to other side in case of lack of evidence.
Aasia was convicted in 2010 after allegedly committing blasphemy during an argument with a Muslim woman over a bowl of water in Sheikhupura in June 2009.
The case of Aasia Bibi has taken two lives including then Governor Punjab Salman Taseer and his guard Mumtaz Qadri, who was executed for assassinating Taseer.
During the last hearing, Justice Khosa noticed five issues in the matter saying that the occurrence date in the FIR was stated as June 14 of 2009 but the occurrence date was mentioned as June 16 of 2009 in the statement of Prosecution Witness (PW) 1.
The other issue Justice Khosa noted that the FIR was registered five days after the occurrence and the application was drafted by an advocate and not the complainant himself. He further noted that there was no mention of public gathering, which took place between the occurrence date and registration of FIR while the places of registration of FIR were also contradicting.
Justice Khosa further noted that the statements of PWs that Aasia came into public gathering and confessed of uttering blasphemous words was also not mentioned in statement of police.
Justice Khosa, expert in criminal case, also observed that there was discrepancy in the statement of PW5 Rizwan Moharrar adding that under the law, the Superintendent of Police (SP) was supposed to investigated independently instead he summoned the persons listened them and passed the verdict to fill the file.
He further observed that the cases were decided by the evidence brought before the court and not on the basis of investigations. He further observed that Islam has the standard of telling the truth.
Justice Khosa also wondered as to why every witness had given a different statement on the matter of public gathering.
He observed that one of the PWs stated that Aasia’s religion was derogated by refusal of Muslim women to drink water from the Christian and in response Aasia made derogatory remarks.