The photo has been used for illustrative purpose.
A local court in Pakistani city of Lahore has awarded the death sentence to a female principal of a school for claiming prophethood.
The prosecution proved the case against the convict, Salma Tanveer, while the defendants failed to establish that the accused was not mentally stable when she had committed the offence.
After hearing both sides, the additional district and sessions judge awarded the death penalty to the accused and imposed a fine of Rs50,000 (Dhs1,100). "She shall be hanged by her neck till her death," the verdict stated.
The judge remarked that the record showed that the woman was running her school single-handedly till her arrest. Therefore, the woman could not be stated to be suffering from legal insanity.
Salma, on Sept.3, 2013, had published and distributed a pamphlet in the area near her residence in Lahore in which she denied the Finality of Prophethood.
The pamphlet also contained derogatory words towards the sacred name of Holy Prophet Mohammad (PBUH), claiming her own prophethood and calling herself Rehmatul Alamin (mercy for all the worlds).
The area residents lodged an FIR against the accused after which local police arrested the school principal. Nishtar Colony police of Lahore had also found her guilty during the investigation.
The defence lawyer had taken a plea after a one-and-a-half-year period that her client was not mentally stable. Later, a medical board was constituted which declared that the accused was not fit for the trial.
The trial remained in limbo for the next two years until the jail authorities, after medical examination of the accused, wrote to the court that the accused was fit to face the trial.
The defendants once again took the similar plea that her client was unsound at the time of the incident. On the other hand, the complainant’s counsel, advocate Ghulam Mustafa Chaudhary argued as to why the application of the accused was being heard after such a long period while the woman continued to run her school and visited foreign countries several times.
During the trial, the accused had also given the right of property dealing with her husband adopting all due process.
The accused’s counsel reiterated that the accused was of unsound mind at the time of occurrence. He implored the court that under the law, nothing is an offence which is done by a person of unsound mind.
Advocate Chaudhry argued that the prosecution has proved its case on the basis of oral and documentary evidence whereas the accused failed to prove that at the time of writing and distributing blasphemous material, she was incapable of knowing the nature of her act by reason of unsoundness of mind.
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