In a significant legal development, the Additional District and Sessions Court in Rawalpindi has delivered a verdict of the death penalty to four individuals accused in a blasphemy case brought forth by the Federal Investigation Agency’s (FIA) Cyber Crime Wing (CCW). Simultaneously, a fifth defendant was sentenced to seven years behind bars by the court.
The judgment was rendered by Additional District and Sessions Judge (ADSJ) Ahsan Mahmood Malik in two distinct legal proceedings. In his pronouncement, Judge Malik firmly underscored the gravity of blasphemy against the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and the desecration of the Holy Quran, categorizing these acts as egregious and unpardonable offenses. He emphasized that those found guilty of such transgressions should not be granted any concessions or leniency.
The individuals in question, namely Wazir Gul, Muhammad Amin, Faizan Razak, and Muhammad Rizwan, were pronounced guilty by the judge, who subsequently imposed the death penalty and a fine of Rs100,000 under Section 295-C of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC). In addition, they were handed life imprisonment with an accompanying fine of Rs100,000 under Section 295-B of the PPC. Meanwhile, the fifth accused, Usman Liaquat, received a seven-year prison term and a fine of Rs20,000.
The genesis of this legal saga traces back to September 12, 2022, when the CCW registered the case against these five individuals following a complaint lodged by a civilian named Umair. In its prosecution, the CCW presented compelling evidence to the court, including blasphemous videos and social media posts retrieved from the smartphones seized from the possession of the accused individuals.
This landmark verdict reverberates not only within the legal arena but also in the broader societal discourse, raising profound questions about Pakistan’s blasphemy laws and the consequences that transgressors face. It serves as a potent reminder of the state’s unwavering commitment to upholding these stringent laws and safeguarding the sanctity of religious beliefs within the nation.