ISLAMABAD -  A three-member bench of Supreme Court, headed by Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, will take up Aasia Bibi’s appeal against death sentence in a blasphemy case on October 13.

The 51-year-old Christian woman has been on death row since November 2010. She was convicted of committing blasphemy during an argument with a Muslim woman over a bowl of water in the town of Sheikhupura in June 2009.

The same bench on July 22, 2015 had accepted Aasia’s appeal while suspending the Lahore High Court order, which had maintained her death sentence. In August Bibi had filed an application before the Chief Justice of Pakistan requesting to fix the case in October.

She filed an appeal in the Supreme Court in November 2014, claiming she had not uttered any blasphemous remarks and was falsely accused by her neighbours over a personal feud.

Aasia Bibi case became the focus of public when former Punjab Governor Salman Taseer met with blasphemy convict in jail and declared the blasphemy law as ‘black law’. Elite Force Commando Mumtaz Qadri, whose death sentence was upheld by the apex court in October 2015, had killed Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer as he had raised voice for Aasia.

The blasphemy law was introduced during the regime of General Ziaul Haq in 1986 and around 1,194 people have been charged under it since then. Pakistan Penal Code’s Section 295 dates back to pre-partition India when it was introduced in 1860. But three clauses – A, B & C – were added in Section 295 during General Zia’s era. At least 564 Muslims, 459 Ahmadis, 150 Christians and 21 Hindu have been in Pakistani jails under blasphemy charges since 1986, says a report of National Commission on Justice and Peace. Prior to 1986, only 14 cases pertaining to blasphemy were reported, according to it.

The SC in its October 27, 2015 judgment in the Qadri case urged the government to ensure that no one was forced to endure an investigation or trial on the basis of false blasphemy allegations.

Justice Khosa while authoring 39 pages verdict had observed that it is an unfortunate fact which cannot be disputed that in many cases registered in respect of the offence of blasphemy false allegations are leveled for extraneous purposes and in the absence of adequate safeguards against misapplication or misuse of such law by motivated persons the persons falsely accused of commission of that offence suffer beyond proportion or repair.

"The Supreme Court of Pakistan under the chair of Justice Saqib Nisar will hear Asia Bibi's appeal against her death sentence on Thursday, October 13 in the Supreme Court of Pakistan, Islamabad," her lawyer Saif-ul-Mulook told AFP.

"I am very hopeful and confident that my client will get justice... and she will be able to spend her life with her children."