A lesson be learned from Asia case

By Fayaz Butt

   In my opinion, the Asia Bibi blasphemy case was totally mishandled.

   From the judgement to the reaction of the radical Islamists. This is for the first time perhaps in Pakistan’s history that someone (TLP leaders) spoke against the army chief in such a hostile manner.   We can easily say someone like Khadim Hussain Rizvi threw a challenge to the powerful heads of the state  institutions like a mighty wrestler.

   In any case of law, there is two types of points. One is about the judgement of the fact and the other is to apply the law of the land on that judgement. There is also two known judiciary systems to handle any case of law. One is to appoint two different bodies for addressing these two different points but strongly integrated with each other.

   Where a jury gives its judgement about the facts of the case. Other one is legal authority that applies the law on the judgement of the jury.  Appoint a single authority that first gives the judgement of the fact and fix the responsibility and then the same authority applies the law. In this situation, the whole responsibility of the case shared by that single authority. This is what happened in the case
in hand.

   By living in our system, do we have a solution to appoint somebody for sharing the burden of
the judges. The answer is yes. There is a room in law that a court can or get the help of any
suitable body by appointing him as friend of the court who is called amicus. An amicus is a
person who is not the party of the case but assists the court by his personal skill. Normally he is
a knowledgeable person of the subject.

In the Asia blasphemy case,  ‘competent and able clerics’ should have been appointed as friend of the court.  Their input could have been used and in their presence the religion community might have supported court the decision in this regard. Pak Destiny
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