Judicial trends in the Sub-continent

Two major countries of South Asia, Pakistan and India may be at daggers drawn politically, but in many ways they remain in the same realm, as if one entity. For example, their judiciaries have a lot in common. Two recent court verdicts are evidence enough. We mention these very briefly. The story from India is a BBC report, while that from Pakistan is from the daily Express Tribune of October 2, 2020.

 

India

Babri mosque: India’s Muslims feel more abandoned then ever

Nearly three decades, 850 witnesses, more than 7000 documents, photographs and video tapes later, a court in India found no-one guilty of razing a 16th century mosque which was attacked by Hindu mobs in the holy city of Ayodhya.

Among the 32 living accused were former deputy premier LK Advani, and a host of senior BJP leaders. Wednesday’s court judgment acquitted them all, saying the destruction of the mosque in 1992 had been the work of unidentified “anti-socials” and had not been planned.

This was despite numerous credible eye witness accounts that the demolition, which took just a few hours, had been rehearsed and carried out with impunity and the connivance of a section of local police in front of thousands of spectators.

Last year, India’s Supreme Court conceded it had been a “calculated act” and an “egregious violation of the rule of law”. …

 

Pakistan

Three Ahmadiyya Community members arrested after Lahore High Court rejects bail

Lahore: The Punjab Police arrested three members of the Ahmadiyya Community accused of using Islamic symbols and practices at their places of worship, after the Lahore High Court (LHC) dismissed their pre-arrest bails on Friday (October 2).

The court also rejected the (Ahmadi) petitioner’s plea seeking an FIR to be registered against witnesses and complainants who entered into their places of worship without permission….

Petitioners Tahir Nakkash, Akbar Ali and Sharafat Ahmad had filed an application for pre-arrest bails in the LHC, contending that they had been implicated in a forged FIR even though they have nothing to do with this case.

They maintained that they had not committed any offence and had been roped in the case with malafide intentions and ulterior motive.

The police had no justification to arrest the petitioners, and in the circumstances of this case, the arrest of the petitioners would be the violation of the fundamental rights of the petitioners as guaranteed under Articles 9 and 10-A of the Constitution.

On the other hand, the complainant counsel, advocate Muhammad Tayyab Qureshi argued that the accused had committed a heinous offence by using Islamic symbols and practices….

The daily Express Tribune of October 2, 2020

Notes by this editor:

  1. If declared guilty, the three accused could be imprisoned for three years.
  2. The police case was registered with local mullas and police acting together.
  3. The Constitution of Pakistan grants religious freedom to all citizens in its Article 20.
  4. The bails were cancelled by Justice Asjad Javed Ghural.

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