How To Tackle Blasphemy Cases?
Blasphemy is a very sensitive issue especially for Muslims. When a person used insulting words, either for God or a religious personality, he or she becomes an offender of blasphemy. Blasphemy is a religious crime. In Pakistan’s constitution the penalty for blasphemy is ranging from a fine to death. According to a report, in Pakistan since 1987, more than 1300 people have been accused of blasphemy and more than 62 of them have been killed by the enraged mob even before the start of a proper trial at local court. It is very unfortunate fact that despite of the happening of so many accidents over the past few decades, no proper procedure, set of rules and an institute that especially deals with such cases, was developed. The accusation of blasphemy is a very responsive matter and it is due to this reason, it has been observed that most of the time people used it as a tool for taking revenge in their private matters. Therefore it is necessary that the government of Pakistan should take some concrete steps and devised such rules that not only helps in the reduction of such incidents but also save the lives of those innocent people who are sometimes allegedly charge by the people for their personal benefits. In this regard some suggestions are given below.
Suggestions For The Reduction Of The Cases Of Blasphemy: In this regard the government should take the following actions.
On Time Action: The government should make sure that an on time action should be taken by all the associated institutions in case of blasphemy. In this regard no indolence should be accepted either on the part of an associated institution or personnel.
No Soft Posture: Though, generally in courts’ procedures an offender is considered innocent as far as he or she is found guilty by the court. But in case of blasphemy, the courts and other related institutions should not adopt such posture. They should treat the accused as an offender as far as he or she is found innocent. This will disclose the nature of sensitivity of the case of blasphemy on the Non-Muslims and will discourage them from even thinking about it.
Severe Penalty: On finding the accused person as an offender, the courts should adjudicate a severe penalty, not less than death sentence, to the offender. Any relief in announcing penalty may result in the increase of the cases of blasphemy in the country.
Make The Offender A Lesson For Others: After finding the accused person guilty, it is necessary that the court should announce such penalty to the offender that discourages others from doing so. The government and court should therefore make him a lesson for others.
Suggestions For Protecting The Lives Of Innocent People: To protect the lives of innocent people, the government should take the following steps.
Mixed Courts: The government needs to devise such courts that contain both the members of judiciary, highly qualified judges, and some prominent religious scholars that bear the trust of general public. In this way, any rulings of these courts in blasphemy cases will be accepted to the people of Pakistan without any objection.
Burden Of Proof Lies On Plaintiff: Though it is a well-accepted principle of the judicial system that the burden of proof lies on plaintiff but in cases of blasphemy, it is necessary that the courts disclose this principle on general public especially at the time of filing a case of blasphemy against any person.
Penalty System For Plaintiff: The government should also devised a penalty system for those plaintiffs who failed to produce any proof of blasphemy against the alleged offenders. In this way the government would be more able to secure the life and property of those innocent people who are sometimes allegedly charge of blasphemy.
Put Stop To Mob Trial: In most of the cases of blasphemy in Pakistan, it has been observed that the angry mob took this matter in their hand and which resulted in the death of accused person. The government should therefore take some practical steps in this regard as well. One of the best ways to stop such incidents is to launch judicial trials against all the members of mob especially the agitators.
Filing Of Case Is Must: The government, in case of blasphemy, should also make the filing of case in a local police station must. In case of mob trial, even after filing an FIR in the local police station, the police of that area should also be held responsible for not taking an action on time.
Penalty For Slow Action: The government should also take action against those officers who shows any lethargy in taking on-time action against the offender. Most of the times the accident of mob trials occur due to the disregarded behavior of the local officers and political leaders.