ISLAMABAD: Supreme Court (SC) on Monday rejected death row inmate Mumtaz Qadri’s review plea following his appeal in Punjab late governor Salman Taseer’s murder case.
A three-member bench of apex court headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa was hearing Qadri’s review plea.
Counsel for the defendant requested the court to form a larger bench led by Chief Justice (CJ) Anwar Zaheer Jamali to review the matter. Justice Khosa said that Qadri could not prove blasphemy on late governor’s part.
Had blasphemy been proved, formation of larger bench could be considered, he added. He further said that Qadri’s appeal has various misunderstandings. Justice Khosa said that the appeal stated court gave a brief verdict whereas it was a detailed order and the court had not missed any single point.
The three-member bench heard Qadri’s appeal against death sentence and it could hear review plea as well, he added. Justice Khosa said that Qadri confessed to murder and was arrested from the crime scene with the weapon used for the killing.
Security was beefed up in the federal capital in light of expected protests on Monday. Police contingents were increased on entry points of Islamabad.
In addition to police personnel, Rangers were also deployed for the cause. Vehicles enroute to the federal capital were checked at various points.
Law enforcers guarded key buildings while commoners were barred from entering the Red Zone. Police remained alert in Nadra Chowk, Serena Hotel and Faizabad among different sensitive areas.
It should be mentioned here that an anti-terrorism court (ATC) sent three persons to jail for five years while two for three years in June after they attacked a candlelight vigil held in late Taseer’s remembrance.
In October, Justice Asif Saeed Khosa had taken the stance in the case stating that criticizing blasphemy laws and calling for amendment does not amount to blasphemy.