Lahore: A constitutional petition has
been filed in a Pakistani court for reopening of an
82-year-old case of a man convicted and hanged by the British
for killing a Hindu who was accused of blasphemy.
Ghazi Ilamuddin, a resident of Lahore, was sentenced to
death by British judges in 1929 after he stabbed Raj Pal.
The petition for reopening Ilamuddin`s case was filed in
the Lahore High Court by Imtiaz Rasheed Qureshi of the Save
Judiciary Committee, who asked it to set aside the death
sentence given to Ilamuddin.
He also asked the court to direct the government to
arrange a funeral for Ilamuddin with state protocol.
Ilamuddin remains a controversial figure in Pakistan`s
history in the context of current efforts by rights activists
for reforms in the controversial blasphemy law.
Some hardline elements cited Ilamuddin as an example
while defending the police guard who gunned down Punjab
Governor Salmaan Taseer in January for challenging the
The Lahore High Court has sought responses from the
government`s law officers on the maintainability of the
Lawyer Farooq Hasan presented arguments in favour of
the petition during a hearing in the court yesterday.
Chief Justice Ijaz Chaudhry, who is hearing the
matter, observed that the court had to first decide the
maintainability of Hasan`s petition.
He asked Hasan to come up with arguments on the
maintainability of the petition and sought responses from the
law officers of the federal and Punjab governments.
The petitioner said he was encouraged to act after
President Asif Ali Zardari filed a reference in the Supreme
Court seeking a review of the "judicial murder" of former
premier Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.