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Home Critical Analysis/Archives ERROR AT THE APEX
On The Way To Supreme Court
Challenge on Constitutional Grounds
Nasir Ahmad
The State
In the mean time certain other developments also took place, which may be mentioned. Mirza Khurshid Ahmad’s case set up a new trend in the persecution of Ahmadis and threw a very wide net for their prosecution under section 295-C PPC, which is punishable with death. The High Court in this case had made observations to the effect that when Ahmadis recite Kalima Tayyeba they commit an offence NOT under 298-C PPC but under 295-C PPC. As a result cases under 298-C PPC started being converted into ones under 295-C PPC. At Nankana Saheb the local court converted a case registered under 298-C PPC into 295-C PPC on allegations of issuing invitation card for marriage. The matter was taken to High Court for grant of bail. The bail was refused by a judge of the High Court, who went a step further than the case of Mirza Khurshid Ahmad and held that when Ahmadis invoke blessings on the Prophet Muhammad PBUH by reciting traditional Darood they commit an offence under section 295-C PPC.
Thus according to Baluchistan High Court the displaying of Kalima Tayyeba was covered under the clause of “posing.” Then according to Khalil ur Rahman J. of the Lahore High Court in Mirza Khurshid Ahmad the Kalima Tayyeba instead of being an evidence of “posing” as Muslim became blasphemous under 295-C for inwardly attributing a different meaning to the Kalima. Now according to Nazir Akhtar J. of the Lahore High Court the blasphemy was extended to invoking the blessing on the Holy Prophet.
The case of Nankana Saheb was taken to Supreme Court. The Supreme Court while disposing of the bail matter observed that
“ex-faci, use of these expressions does not create in a Muslim, or for that matter anyone else, any feeling of hatred offence or provocation etc. etc. nor is it derogatory to the holy prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) or the Muslims”. [7]
The court further observed that
“it is only when the person reading or hearing them goes deep into the background of the persons using them and brings his own special knowledge of the faith, beliefs and latent intentions of such an accused that the alleged result is likely to follow.” [8] (emphasis added)
This is how the denial of human rights to Ahmadis reached the Supreme Court and it was in this background that the appeals arising out of the Constitutional challenge by Muhammad Aslam and Mujeeb-ur-Rahman Dard, 5 criminal appeals from Quetta and the appeal arising out of Mirza Khurshid Ahmad’s case was taken by the Supreme Court of Pakistan and disposed of by split judgment in Zaheer-ud-Din, which is the subject matter of present study.
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