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ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court said an “organised campaign” against judges and judiciary was “unfortunate”, which is a violation of freedom of expression under Article 6 of the constitution, and can damage the institution.

The SC PRO department, on Thursday, issued a clarification in response to “misreporting” on social, electronic, and print media about a case whose judgment was issued on February 6, 2024.

It said due to misreporting of the Supreme Court’s verdict in the electronic, print and social media doubts were created and an impression was given that the Supreme Court has deviated from the second amendment, which relates to the “definition of Muslim” and ordered to abolish the various sections of Pakistan Penal Code regarding “crime against religion”. “This impression is absolutely incorrect,” it says.

SJC proceedings against judge to continue even after resignation, rules Supreme Court

A two-judge bench of the Supreme Court on the appeals of Mubarak Ahmed Sani vs State declared that even if the allegations in the FIR of the case are accepted in letter and spirit then these provisions (mentioned in FIR) are not applied on the accused. Rather Section 5 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act 1932 is applicable and under that maximum punishment for dissemination/publishing of prohibited books six months’ imprisonment can be awarded.

The apex court noted since the applicant/accused has already spent more than one year in jail, therefore in light of the Islamic teachings, constitutional and legal provisions ordered to release the accused on bail.

“It is unfortunate that in such cases, emotions get inflamed and Islamic laws are forgotten,” the declaration stated. “It is in this context that verses from the Holy Quran have been mentioned in the judgment.”

The declaration further says that as per the Constitution, every citizen shall have the right to follow, practice and express any religion. According to the Constitution, every religious group and every sect will have the right to establish religious institutions and manage them, it says further.

In a similar case, a five-member bench of the Supreme Court has already given a detailed decision and the current decision does not deviate from it.

Chief Justice of Pakistan Qazi Faez Isa tries to reason in his decisions from the Holy Quran and Ahadith that an implementation of all laws is adopted in a way that is in accordance with Islamic conjunctions, as is required under sections 2, 31, and 227 of the Constitution and Section 4 of the Implementation of Sharia Law, 1991.

The SC says that if someone thinks there has been an error in the court order, then it is the responsibility of the scholars to correct it. The chief justice and the Supreme Court have not stopped anyone from filing a review nor will they do now.

“Court decisions can also be criticized in an appropriate manner,” the declaration states. It then regretted the organised campaign against the judges and the judiciary in the name of criticism without adopting the constitutional path of a review plea.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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