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Supreme Court to announce verdict on Asia Bibi Appeal against execution shortly

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Supreme Court to announce verdict on Asia Bibi Appeal against execution shortly. The Supreme Court of Pakistan will verdict on Asia Bibi case Appeal against execution shortly on Wednesday.

Supreme Court to announce verdict on Asia Bibi Appeal against execution shortly
Asia Bibi. Photo: File

Supreme Court to announce verdict on Asia Bibi Appeal against execution shortly

According to a supplementary cause list issued by the SC on Monday, the verdict was scheduled to be announced by a special bench at 9am. The bench comprises Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, Justice Asif Saeed Khosa and Justice Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel.

The Supreme Court had reserved its judgment on the Aasia Bibi blasphemy case on October 8 and had barred electronic and print media from covering the issue till the decision was not announced by the court.

Justice Asif Saeed Khosa and Justice Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel are other members of the bench.

The apex court had reserved its ruling on Bibi’s final legal appeal against execution on October 8.

The apex court had restrained both electronic and print media from discussing or commenting on the matter till the final judgement.

Aasia Bibi has been charged with blasphemy under Article 295-C of Pakistan Penal Code for allegedly defaming Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), an offence that is punishable by death. The incident allegedly took place on June 14, 2009.

She is accused of passing sarcastic and defamatory remarks on Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) to three Muslim women while the four of them were picking fruit at a field in Sheikhupura.

Aasia Bibi was asked to fetch water but the Muslim women objected, claiming that as a non-Muslim, she was impure.

The matter turned serious when the Muslim women went to a local cleric and told him what Aasia had allegedly said.

A trial court convicted Bibi for blasphemy in November 2010 and sentenced her to death. The Lahore High Court (LHC) had upheld her conviction and confirmed her death sentence in October 2014.

She moved the Supreme Court in 2015 by filing an appeal against the decision of the Lahore High Court. The apex court had stayed her execution.

The appeal was taken up in 2016 by the Supreme Court but delayed again as one of the judges recused himself from the hearing.

Last month, a bench led by Chief Justice Saqib Nisar took up the case and reserved its verdict on October 8.

Former Punjab Governor Salman Taseer was gunned down in 2011 by his bodyguard Mumtaz Qadri in Lahore in broad daylight after the former had defended Aasia Bibi.

If the Supreme Court upholds her death sentence, Aasia Bibi can only seek clemency from the president. If he denies it as well, she will be the first Pakistani who will be executed for blasphemy.