Asia Bibi’s acquittal: SC to hear review petition on January 29

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Asia Bibi’s acquittal: SC to hear review petition on January 29

The Supreme Court (SC) has set January 29 to hear the review petition challenging the acquittal of Asia Bibi in a blasphemy case.

A three-member bench, headed by the Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Asif Saeed Khosa, comprising Justice Qazi Faez Isa and Justice Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel, will hear the case on January 29, local media reported.

Last year in October, a three-member bench headed by former CJP Saqib Nisar, comprising Judge Asif Saeed Khosa and Judge Mazhar Alam Khan, acquitted Bibi and ordered her release from prison. The judgment read, “She [Asia Bibi] shall be released from the jail forthwith if not required to be detained in connection with any other case.”

The acquittal of the Christian woman had ignited countrywide protest from religious parties who staged a protest. Since then, Bibi’s life has been in danger.

Bibi, who is a mother of five, was on death row since 2010. She was accused of blasphemy during a row over drinking water with women with whom she was working in a field. In October 2014, the Lahore High Court had confirmed Bibi’s death sentence.

However, she denied the charges against her and appealed against the death sentence in November 2015. The SC agreed to hear her petition. However, the hearing was adjourned after one of the judges recused himself from the case in 2017.