Aasia Bibi in 2010
Aasia Bibi in 2010

Aasia Bibi case: Pakistan SC reserves judgement

ANI | Updated: Oct 08, 2018 21:57 IST

Islamabad [Pakistan], Oct 8 (ANI): Pakistan's Supreme Court reserved its judgement on the blasphemy case against death-row convict Aasia Bibi on Monday.
A three-judge special bench of the apex court, comprising Chief Justice Saqib Nisar, Justice Asif Saeed Khosa and Justice Mazhar Alam Miankhel, pointed out several discrepancies in the statements of the witnesses and prosecution in the case, according to The Express Tribune.
In a hearing that lasted two hours, 45 minutes, Justice Khosa highlighted that the prosecution case was weakened due to the discrepancies in the statements of their witnesses. He further pointed out that details about the argument between Bibi and the accusers were missing in the witnesses' statement.
Justice Khosa also observed that there was ambiguity about the filing of the complaint. Two differing versions exist--one where the application was handed over to the police near a river, and the other, which states that the complaint was filed at a police station. During cross-examination, Justice Khosa had also inquired about the non-disclosure of the lawyer who had drafted the complaint.
The Supreme Court also pointed out that the FIR had been registered five days after the incident. The incident transpired on June 14, 2009, but the FIR was registered on June 19, 2009.
Apart from this, five different versions of Bibi's confession before a Panchayat have come to light.
The highest court has restrained the media from publishing comments on the case until the verdict is announced.
Aasia Bibi is the only woman in Pakistan to be facing the death penalty for blasphemy. The death penalty was awarded to Bibi in November 2010 by a lower court, which was upheld by the Lahore High Court in 2014. A stay order was issued towards her execution by the Supreme Court in 2015. Her last hearing in October 2017 was swiftly adjourned after one of the members of the bench, Justice Rehman excused himself due to conflict of interest.
Human rights groups like Amnesty International have previously come forward to champion Bibi's case. Bibi, a Christian woman, was allegedly involved in an argument with three Muslim women after they refused to drink from a cup that she had touched, according to Al Jazeera. The three women later claimed that Bibi insulted the Prophet during the argument which ensued, a charge that carries capital punishment in Pakistan. (ANI)