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ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court will hear the Punjab government’s petition to review its order dated February 6, 2024 that certain words of Article 20 of the Constitution were not mentioned, that is “subject to law, public order and morality” on Monday.

A three-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa and comprising Justice Musarrat Hilali and Justice Irfan Saadat would hear the Punjab government’s petition.

The Court has issued notice to the respondents and the Attorney General for Pakistan.

Punjab govt formation phase starts: Governor

A two-judge bench of the Supreme Court on the appeals of Mubarak Ahmed Sani vs State on February 6 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.

Following that order, on threatening campaign gained momentum on social media against the chief justice.

The Court’s order further said Section 5 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1932, is applicable in the case 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.

Ameer Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) Sirajul Haq filed an application for impleadment in the case. It said that the order 06-02-24 contains reference of Holy Quran, interpretation of the constitutional provisions and criminal law on the subject; therefore, effect and scope of the order travelled beyond the parties to the lis.

The applicant stated he has no doubt in his mind that the impugned order is not travelling on some motivation; rather result of inadvertence and lack of proper assistance on the subject. There is prevailing sentiment that the recent observations made by the Court have deviated from the longstanding constitutional commands and jurisprudence with regard to the extent of freedom of faith to be observed by the Qadianis.

The court’s recognition of the right to assist or correction indicates that individuals who believe there was an error in the interpretation of an Islamic principle or legal provision have a legitimate avenue to seek clarification or resolution. This highlights the court’s commitment, resolve and openness to address concerns and ensure justice, which is highly commendable.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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