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Pak court suggests changes in blasphemy law to stop its misuse

Press Trust of India  |  Islamabad 

A in has asked the to make changes in the controversial blasphemy to stop its misuse for personal interests and fix tougher punishment for any person falsely accusing someone of the crime, which is punishable by death.

High Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui issued a verdict yesterday in the case regarding elimination of blasphemous content from

In the 116-page detailed judgment, Justice Siddiqui suggested that make the blasphemy tougher by fixing the same punishment for any person misusing it or falsely accusing someone of blasphemy, Dawn reported today.

The judge explained how people due to their personal enmity managed to drag their rivals into blasphemy cases endangering the life of not only the accused person but all his family members and relatives.

Under the existing law, the false accuser can only face proceedings under Section 182 of the Penal Code (PPC). Section 182 entails the maximum punishment of six months or a fine up to Rs 1,000 only.

The judge said this is a very minor punishment for such a serious offence of accusing someone of blasphemy.

He said that due to the misuse of the critics even demanded abolishing it. He said that it was better to stop exploitation of the law rather than abolishing it.

"Admittedly, not a single convict whether Muslim or non- Muslim has ever been executed for blasphemy in Pakistan," the judgment added.

The judge referred the matter to the legislature to amend the law for awarding the same punishment for lodging a false complaint under the blasphemy law.

Besides, the directed the Telecommunication Authority (PTA) to create a firewall to block unwanted and sacrilegious content in Pakistan.

The court acknowledged steps taken by the federal to eliminate such content from the It, however, directed the interior ministry and other departments concerned to vigorously take up the matter with the Facebook management.

In case, the Facebook management does not remove the indecent content and revered personalities the website may be banned completely in Pakistan, the verdict said.

Blasphemy is very sensitive issue in Pakistan and those accused of it have become an easy target for extremists

Blasphemy laws were introduced in 1980s and no could dare change them despite allegation of misuse. However, it might be possible to amend after the verdict.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, August 12 2017. 16:13 IST