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Judicial Interpretation of 295-C

This project consisted of a reading, appraisal and analysis of the Federal Shariat Court’s decision to remove the option of life imprisonment from section 295-C of the Pakistan Penal Code, making the death sentence the sole, and therefore mandatory, punishment for the act of blasphemy.

This reading included the retrieval of the petition originally submitted by Ismail Qureshi that called for the striking out of the punishment of life imprisonment and, essentially, initiated the proceedings that resulted in this Federal Shariat Court judgement.

A report has been created that summarizes the petition and the judgement, focusing on their inaccurate claims that there has been a historic jurisprudential consensus on the death penalty for blasphemy and that the act of blasphemy is a hadd offence, divinely ordained with a fixed, unchanging punishment. Beyond the summaries, the report also provides a rebuttal of the claims made by both the petition and the judgement using the Quran, Hadith and Fiqh to counter the inaccurate and unrepresentative portrayal of all three.