ISLAMABAD: The hearing of the appeal filed by Mumtaz Qadri against the verdict of Islamabad High Court, alleged killer of former governor Punjab Salman Taseer will continue on Tuesday in Supreme Court (SC).

A three-member bench of the apex court headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa heard the case. During the hearing Justice Mian Nazir Akhter, counsel of petitioner while arguing before the court said that Mumtaz Qadri assassinated Salman Taseer , the then Punjab governor on committing blasphemy and defending Asia Bibi, allegedly involved in blasphemy.

That is why the security personnel present on the venue did not take any action against Mr. Qadri while considering it accurate and appropriate measure. Therefore, the ATC section should be declared void.

The head of the bench, Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa, remarked that criticizing a law does not amount to blasphemy and the press clippings presented in court do not provide sufficient evidence to maintain that the former governor had committed blasphemy.

During Monday's hearing, the bench observed that the entire argument of Qadri’s counsel would be rendered irrelevant if it is not established that then governor Taseer had committed blasphemy.

Qadri, a former commando of Punjab police’s Elite Force, was sentenced to death for assassinating former Punjab governor Salman Taseer in Islamabad’s Kohsar Market. Qadri said, he killed Taseer over the politician's vocal opposition to blasphemy laws of the country.

He had confessed to shooting Taseer dead outside an upmarket coffee shop close to the latter's residence in Islamabad on Jan 4, 2011.

Following the sentencing, Qadri's counsels had challenged the ATC's decision through two applications the same month.

The first petition had demanded that Qadri's death sentence should be quashed and the second asked for Section 7 of the ATA to be declared void from the sentencing.

In its ruling on the appeal, the IHC rejected Qadri's application against his death sentence under the PPC but accepted his application to void ATA's Section 7.