The Lahore High Court (LHC) has once again dismissed the post-arrest bail application of an accused belonging to the Ahmadiyya minority community who had allegedly tricked a Muslim woman into marriage by disguising himself as Muslim.
LHC’s judge Syed Shahbaz Ali Rizvi had dismissed the post-arrest bail of accused Shehzad Ashraf on June 22, 2021 under allegations of fraudulently contracting marriage with a Muslim girl, sharing her objectionable photographs and video clips containing disrespectful remarks against the complainant.
After the impugned judgement of the single bench was challenged in the Supreme Court of Pakistan. At that time SC Justice Umar Ata Bandial observed that “we note that the impugned judgement focuses entirely on matters of faith and notices the serious consequences that follow from that perspective upon the issue of paternity. At the bail stage, a tentative assessment of the material on record is envisaged by the law.
“We consider that the impugned order passed by the LHC has thereby committed an effort in the appreciation of the case.”
The appropriate course is for the LHC to tentatively examine the tangible material available in respect of the alleged and thereafter to arrive at its conclusion on the petitioner’s plea for bail after arrest.
“As noted, that has not been done. We convert this petition into appeal, allow the same by setting aside the impugned order passed on June 22, 2021 and remand the matter to the learned High Court for passing a fresh order in the light of the observations made above”.
On Tuesday, Justice Rizvi once again heard this matter and dismissed the post-arrest bail observing that neither of the parties denies that the petitioner contracted “Nikah” with the complainant, a Muslim lady in 2011 and they lived together for years as the married couple.
On the other hand, documentary evidence in the form of record of National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra), scanned images of forms submitted to Nadra by the petitioner himself on April 13, 2004, June 20, 2009 and September 27, 2018. Besides paragraphs number 5, 6 and 7 of the decision passed by ‘Dar-ul-Ifta’ Jamia Naeemia on March 30, 2021 is available with the prosecution.
The documents reflect the petitioner’s religion as “Qadiani” which prima facie supports the allegation against him with regard to the offence punishable under section 493-A Pakistan Penal Code (PPC).
There is no cavil about the proposition anymore that the marriage of a Muslim lady with a non-Muslim man is void and unlawful.