SC releases blasphemy accused on bail

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ISLAMABAD
A two-judge bench of Supreme Court of Pakistan led by Justice Qazi Faez Isa on Friday heard the bail petition filed by the blasphemy accused and granted him bail.
Justice Isa inquired of the state prosecutor, “Since the trial court did not insert any section in the indictment, then how the accused would come to know what his crime was? How could he fight his case? Is this case comes under Section 295-C?”
The deputy attorney general replied that the FIA initiated an inquiry after getting a complaint against the accused. Justice Isa told off the deputy AG and said that he should be aware what different sections were applied in different cases.
He said that the FIA sought opinion of the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) in this case. In its recommendation, the CII said that the Section 295 does not apply in this case, the judge said adding that the CII was a constitutional organization and if its recommendation were ignored then what’s the purpose of keeping the CII open.
The lawyer of the accused told the court that the CII’s opinion came on June 8, 2022. Justice Yahya Afridi inquired of the lawyer had the trial court rejected the bail application of the accused despite the opinion of the CII.
Justice Isa remarked that every case pertaining to religion was related to the state. The mattersa pertaining to religions could not be given in the hands of individuals. But the state machinery should look into these matters with great care and dexterity. He observed that a trial court in a case related to religion had enacted indictment but did not mention any section under which the indictment had been made.
The Supreme Court while expressing its dissatisfaction over the FIA inquiry remarked that the case needed more investigation. Saying this, the bench granted bail to the accused against the surety bonds of Rs100,000.
The court declared that Zahid Mehmood was accused of being involved in a Whatsapp group which shared a blasphemous post on the social media platform. The post was in Arabic. But the FIA investigation is silent over the issue whether the accused understands Arabic language or not. The investigation also does not explain how the complainant came to know about the post.
The FIA Cybercrime Multan registered a blasphemy case against accused Zahid Mehmood on June 6, 2022. The trial court and the high court had rejected his bail pleas.