SC takes up case for implementation of its directives on minority rights today
ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court will take up on Tuesday a case related to implementation of directives outlined by it through its June 19 verdict on minority rights.
Headed by Chief Justice Nasir-ul-Mulk, the three-judge bench includes Justice Gulzar Ahmad and Justice Mushir Alam. Attorney General Salman Aslam Butt will appear on court notice to explain measures taken by the government to ensure rights of the minorities.
The court has already summoned reports from the federal government after different departments failed to comply with earlier reminders issued by the Supreme Court human rights cell on Nov 10 to important government offices to furnish updates on the implementation of the June 19 verdict.
It is also expected that during the proceedings the court may also discuss the Nov 6 horrendous incident where a Christian couple was lynched by a mob in Kot Radha Kishan, some 60km southwest of Lahore, over alleged blasphemy.
A set of guidelines were issued on a suo motu by former chief justice Tassaduq Hussain Jillani through a 32-page judgment in a bid to promote culture of religious and social tolerance by developing appropriate curricula at the school and college levels, besides constituting a task force for developing a strategy of religious tolerance and establishing a special police force with professional training to protect places of worship of minorities.
The notice was taken against the backdrop of the bomb attack on a church in Peshawar in which 81 people died on Sept 22 last year.
During the proceedings, the court also received complaints from Hindus seeking its directive for remedial measures so that their places of worship are protected. Other complaints related to threat to proselytise Kalash tribe and Ismailis in Chitral, coercion of Hindu girls to convert to a different sect within Islam or to face death, registration of marriages of minorities, etc.
The court had also ordered its office to open a separate file, to be placed before a three-judge bench in future, to ensure that the June 19 verdict was given effect in letter and spirit and the bench so formed could also entertain complaints or petitions relatable to violation of fundamental rights of minorities.
The June 19 verdict had asked the federal government to constitute a task force to develop a strategy of religious tolerance, besides taking appropriate steps to ensure that hate speeches in social media were discouraged and the delinquents were brought to justice.