The Supreme Court has dismissed the review petition against the acquittal of Aasia Noreen.
The case was heard by a three-member bench, comprising Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, Justice Qazi Faez Isa and Justice Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel.
Qari Muhammad Salaam, who submitted the review petition, requested the court maintain the death sentence awarded to her by a trial court. Salaam, who lives in a village near Nankana Sahib, had filed a case against Aasia Noreen and accused her of blasphemy.
The court said that the petitioner’s lawyer couldn’t prove anything wrong with the court verdict.
The chief justice said that witnesses lied under oath in the case. The witnesses would’ve been imprisoned for life if the case wasn’t so sensitive, he remarked.
Ghulam Mustafa, the petitioner’s lawyer, said that the court should summon religious scholars for advice on the case. The top judge asked if Islam says that a person should be punished even if no evidence is found against the person. The court gives its verdicts on statements of witnesses.
Mustafa said that the verdict mentioned that the burden of proof lied on the prosecution.
Justice Khosa said that the rules of burden of proof have been decided since 1987. He clarified that the verdict did not state anything which was against the beliefs of the Holy Prophet (PBUH). The court only talks about the law, he said. The main point is that the charges against her were never proven, he added.
He said that leaders of a right-wing party issued fatwas against judges over the verdict. They blocked the entire country to protest the acquittal, he added.
Aasia Noreen had spent eight years on death row and was cleared of blasphemy charges by the Supreme Court last October.
Violent protesters took to the streets in various cities of the country following her acquittal.
She was released from jail on November 7 and is currently being kept at a secure location for security reasons. Her lawyer, Saiful Malook, who had left Pakistan after receiving death threats, has come back to the country for the hearing.
“This is a frivolous petition and they should be fined for even filing it. I expect the hearing will be completed within minutes and the petition will be dismissed,” Malook told Al Jazeera.