No Officer Below Rank Of SP To Investigate Blasphemy Case: NCHR

No officer below rank of SP to investigate Blasphemy case: NCHR

ISLAMABAD,(Pakistan Point News - APP - 17th Augst,2016) : National Commission for Human Rights (NCHR) proposed that no police officer below the rank of a Superintendent of Police (SP) shall investigate the offence against any person alleged in case instituted under Blasphemy laws. "Ensure the effective implementation of section 156-A of Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) which provides that for complaints under section 295-C, no officer below the rank of a Superintendent of Police shall investigate the complaint", it suggested.

In a report submitted to senate functional committee on HR on proposed procedural amendments to check misuse of blasphemy law in Pakistan, it is recommended to ensure proceeding and investigating agencies discharge their functions independently and impartially. The prosecutorial discretion be exercised to ensure that only bona fide complaints of recognizable criminal conduct are registered and pursued. Register criminal cases where courts have concluded or there are reasonable grounds to believe that complaint and/or the witness in blasphemy cases have committed perjury.

As a short-term, temporary measure, until wider reform of the blasphemy laws and measures to address the flaws in their implementation is accomplished, amend section 196 of the CrPC to ensure no court can take cognizance of any blasphemy-related offences, particularly under sections 295-B and 295-C of the PPC, without intervention from the provincial or Federal governments. Amend schedule II of CrPC, 1898, to make all blasphemy related offences (sections 295 to 298-C of PPC, 1860) from the list of scheduled offences under the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997.

Awareness, training and regularization of Imam, investigation, prosecution,judges and lawyers on the blasphemy laws be conducted. District peace/interfaith committees and local scholars of known credibility should be involved in blasphemy cases at initial stage of institution of proceedings. It further said cases of blasphemy be trailed by District and Session Judge.