Rabwah; February 2024: On the complaint of anti-Ahmadiyya religious cleric Muhammad Hassan Muawiyah, the police registered a case on December 6, 2022, at Police Station Chenab Nagar in FIR No: 661 under sections PPCs 298-C, 298-B, and The Punjab Holy Quran (Printing and Recording) Act, 2011 9(1)  against Mr. Mubarak Ahmad Sani and others including any printer, publisher, author, composer, proof reader, assistants, and others unnamed were accused of distributing the Holy Quran with allegedly ‘altered translation’.

Mr. Mubarak Ahmad Sani, the principal of Madrasatul Hifz (school where children memorize the Holy Quran), was subsequently arrested on January 7, 2023, in the aforementioned case. On February 6, 2024, the Supreme Court of Pakistan accepted the bail of Mr. Mubarak Ahmad Sani. Following the completion of paperwork on February 13, 2024, the accused was released from Faisalabad Jail after spending more than a year behind bars.

An appeal against the decision and the dismissal of the sections of the FIR was filed by the Punjab Government in the Supreme Court again, whereas the Jamaat-e-Islami also requested to become a party.  On February 26, 2024, the Chief Justice Faez Isa heading a three-member bench heard the appeal of the opponents. Chief Justice of Pakistan stated during the hearing that there would be no debate on the bail of the accused; however, if any religious aspect is affected, it can be identified. Chief Justice stated that he would be happy if any appeal against his decision is filed. Surely, through appeal, there is an opportunity to correct mistakes. “We do not claim to have all the wisdom, therefore, the court welcomes assistance. If there is any error in the decision, it will be corrected, with gratitude for the assistance,” he added.

Apart from Jamaat-e-Islami’s leaders Sirajul Haq and Farid Paracha, Hafiz Tahir Ashrafi, Special Advisor to the Prime Minister of Pakistan, was also present during this hearing.

Advocate Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui (a sacked judge of IHC) represented the Jamaat-e-Islami. Siddiqui said that they think that in Mubarak Sani’s case, proper assistance was not provided to the court, and the petitioner did not even request for dismissal of the sections against him.

The Supreme Court gave a notice to various religious institutions including the Council of Islamic Ideology, Jamaat Ahl-e-Hadith, Quran Academy, Jamaat Al-Muntazar Lahore, and Darul Uloom Karachi for the next three weeks, that if they want to give their opinion or assist in this matter, they should inform the Supreme Court of their opinion.

The trial of the case is ongoing in the court of Additional Sessions Judge Lalian, Raja Ajmal. As the dismissal of the sections of FIR in a case is beyond the jurisdiction of an Additional Sessions Judge, he referred the case to the Sessions Judge Chiniot, Arif Khan Niazi. The SJ Chiniot has sent the SC’s decision of Mr. Mubarak Ahmad Sani’s release on bail and the dismissal of sections of FIR to Magistrate Lalian Afzal Allah to conclude the case.

Mr. Sani was released on bail on February 13, 2024, He had already spent twice the time in prison compared with the penalty prescribed by the applicable law in force when the said offence was allegedly committed.