Man Awarded Five-year Jail Over Charges Of Blasphemy Of Hazrat Umar


Man awarded five-year jail over charges of blasphemy of Hazrat Umar

The judge says govt must take steps to spread awareness about cyber crimes in the country.

LAHORE: ( UrduPoint/Pakistan Point News-18th Oct, 2019) In first of its kind punishment in the country’ s judicial history, a special court on Thursday awarded five-year imprisonment to a man found guilty of using sacrilegious and derogatory remarks against second Caliph of islam Hazrat Umar on his Facebook page.

The court also slapped the guilty of Rs 20,000 fine which, in case of default, will be converted into one-month more imprisonment for the convict.

“The accused is first offender as per available record. No doubt, ignorance of law is no excuse, but at the same time, the cyber crimes are new one to the society,” held Muhammad Aamir Raza Baitu, the judicial magistrate section 30.

The judge further held: “ There must be awareness movement on behalf of the government to educate the people in respect to the new cyber crimes,”.

Sajid Ali, a resident of Bahawal Naga district, used derogatory remarks against Hazrat Umar Bin Khathab (r.z) on his Facebook page and share the same to his friends on the same social networking site on December 4, 2017. First the local police lodged FIR 66/17 under Section 298-A of Pakistan Penal Code and 16 MPO but second FIR was lodged by the Federal Investigation Agency under Section 11, 16 of Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act, 2016. The convict was already in the jail.

The conviction and sentence of Sajid Ali is first of its kind as never before the in the history of the country, the court awarded punishment on the grounds of sacrilegious, blasphemous and derogatory remarks against the companions (Sehaba) of the Holy Prophet (PBUH). However, there are many cases of blasphemy against the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and the Holy Quran but not any case involving the respect and honor of companions of the Holy Prophet (PBUH).

In the complex nature of trial, the Federal Investigation Agency—proved the case by using all latest techniques and technical analysis.

During the trial, FIA Assistant Director (legal) and prosecutor Munam Bashir Chaudhary established with his argument that accused Sajid Ali had a specific role in the offense attributed to him in the FIR. The prosecutor also produced the screen shots of the remarks he wrote on his Facebook page before the court. He also substantiated his arguments with technical report of the expert which connected the convict with commission of the offense which is not awe-inspiring but starting in nature.

On other hand, the accused’s counsel argued that Sajid Ali was innocent and he did not commit crime with any malafide intention. “He has falsely been roped in this casewith malafise intention. He has nothing to do with the commission of offense while his mobile was not produced before the court during his trial,” the defense counsel argued.

He also argued that the original image of the disputed SMS and other material against the accused person. And there is no proof to this effect that he uploaded the material and the prosecution failed to establish the case beyond any shadow of doubt.

After hearing both sides, the judge sentenced the man to five-year imprisonment along with the fine of Rs 20,000 after the accused was found involved in commission of offense. The judge relied upon the technical report, prosecution witnesses and other tangible evidences including the screenshots of the Facebook Phone containing blasphemous material.

Fida Hussnain

Fida Hussnain is a lahore based journalist. He writes on politics, religion, social issues and climate change. He is also a research fellow at University of Gujrat.