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After 10 years, Lahore court acquits man of blasphemy charge

ANI | Updated: Jan 25, 2022 20:17 IST

Lahore [Pakistan], January 25 (ANI): In a classic case of justice delayed is justice denied, Lahore sessions court on Tuesday acquitted a man, Asim Aslam, of blasphemy charges after he served a 10-year jail term.
Aslam was arrested following the FIR registered by Mughalpura police in 2011 on the complaint of his brother Faisal Aslam under section 295-B of the PPC, reported Dawn.
The complainant himself admitted in the FIR that the suspect had a history of mental illness. A trial court had awarded the suspect life imprisonment on the basis of his confessional statement. Later, he challenged his conviction before the Lahore High Court in 2015.
The high court in 2021 suspended the sentence and directed the sessions court to hold a fresh trial of the suspect in light of his mental health, reported Dawn.

The suspect also filed an application for his acquittal under section 265-K of the CrPC.
Additional District & Sessions Judge Khalid Wazir allowed the application of Aslam and acquitted him of the charge. "He be released immediately, if not required in any other case," said the order issued by the trial judge, reported Dawn.
Last year, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) had raised concerns about the recent surge in blasphemy cases.
"HRCP believes that the state has effectively abdicated its responsibilities under international human rights law by leaving those accused of blasphemy to the mercy of mobs, or trials that are marred by glaring legal and procedural flaws," the rights group had said.
They said that the police must also refrain from registering blasphemy cases so promptly, knowing full well the sensitive implications of doing so when such complaints are often fabricated and spurred on by personal vendettas. (ANI)