ISLAMABAD    -  The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Friday said that the Holy Quran also does not mandate the punishment of death for the offence of adultery, and if a man suspects his wife of infidelity he should follow the path prescribed by the Holy Quran and the law of Pakistan.

A two-member bench of the apex court comprising Justice Qazi Faez Isa and Justice Sardar Tariq Masood gave these findings in a judgment of a murder case.

A petitioner Muhammad Abbas had killed his wife Mst Saima Bibi stating that she was woman of bad character. Sessions Judge Nankana Sahib awarded petitioner death sentence under Section 302(b) of Pakistan Penal Code. 

Abbas challenged the sentence in Lahore High Court (LHC) which upheld his conviction, but reduced his death sentence to life imprisonment.

The petitioner then approached Supreme Court against the LHC verdict. The apex court ,however, dismissed his petition.

The verdict authored by Justice Qazi Faez Isa said that the woman or the girl who is killed in the name or pretext of honour has no chance to redeem her honour. She is deprived of both her life and reputation.

He wrote that the petitioner who professes to be a Muslim did not follow the methodology commanded by Almighty Allah and the law of Pakistan to resolve his suspicions about his wife.

The verdict said that the petitioner then couched his criminal and un-Islamic conduct by stating that he became enraged to see his wife in the company of a man and on account of his ‘ghairat’ he killed her.

“Almighty Allah loves those who amongst others restrain their anger. To become enraged is not an admirable trait nor is ghairat,” said the apex court’s verdict.

The top court of the country noted that Pakistan has one of the highest, if not the highest per capita honour killings in the world and predominantly the victims are women.

The judgment said that by stating that murder was committed on the pretext of ghairat (honour) the murderer hopes to provide some justification for the crime.

It may also elevate the murderer’s social status with those not familiar with what Almighty Allah Commands in the Holy Quran. This is unfortunate, more so because there is no honour in such killings.

Justice Qazi wrote that Parliament was rightly concerned with the prevalence of such killings and enacted legislation to dissuade, if not stop such crimes. It did so by ensuring that offenders do not avail of the benefit of section 302(c) PPC, for which the maximum punishment is 25 years imprisonment but which does not prescribe a minimum punishment.

Parliament specifically stipulated that such crimes attract clause (a) or clause (b) of section 302 PPC, for which the punishment is either death or imprisonment for life, he added.

He said that according to Principle of Policy set out in the Constitution; “The State shall protect the marriage, the family, the mother and the child’.

When women and girls are not protected but rather killed in the name or on the pretext of honour the family is destroyed, he added.

According to the judgment, the two concurrent findings of guilt against the petitioner by the Sessions Judge and LHC are supported by evidence on record which the apex court also independently examined.

There is no reason justifying the grant of leave, which is declined, and, consequently, the petition is dismissed, added the judgment.