Anyone who committed blasphemy will not be able to dodge the law. Justice Shaukat

ISLAMABAD ( BMZ REPORT )

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday remarked that leveling blasphemy charges against innocent people was

also a crime and directed to ensure that an innocent person must not be wrongly accused of it.

Justice Shaukat Siddiqui

IHC was hearing a case relating to blasphemous contents on social media.

Secretary Interior Mohammad Arif Khan, PTA Chairman Syed Ismail Shah, IG Islamabad Tariq Masood Yasin, and senior officials from the information technology (IT) ministry appraised the court on Monday about the progress they have made so far in connection with the case.

Justice Shaukat Siddiqui, who is hearing the case, said those guilty of blasphemy would not escape. Director of Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and IG Islamabad was directed to exercise extreme precaution while identifying blasphemers.

“Falsely accusing someone of blasphemy is an offence as serious as blasphemy itself,” he said. Anyone who committed blasphemy will not be able to dodge the law. We will pass an order such that no one will dare to do so in the future,” he said.

During the hearing, Ministry of Interior Secretary remarked that 70 controversial pages on social networking sites have been blocked so far.

The Director FIA informed the court that intelligence agencies have information regarding such content, however the matter is in inquiry stages and no FIR has yet been lodged, he said.

The official further said they were also pondering over drafting a petition as per international laws and take the matter to an international court. At this, the court directed him to ensure that an innocent may not be falsely accused of blasphemy.

It advised the Ministry of Information to specify in electronic and print media the restrictions on freedom of speech under the Article 19 of the Constitution and the punishment in case of any violation.

Article 19 relates to the right of information for all citizens. The article states, “Every citizen shall have the right to have access to information in all matters of public importance subject to regulation and reasonable restrictions imposed by law.”

The hearing was adjourned till March 17.

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