A Pakistani court has begun hearing a petition seeking the reopening of an 84-year-old case in which a court under the British administration had given the death sentence to Ghazi Ilamuddin for murdering a Hindu writer named Raj Pal.
Lahore High Court Chief Justice Umer Ata Bandial heard arguments by the petitioner's counsel on the maintainability of the plea yesterday and adjourned the case till March 14.
Ilamuddin killed Raj Pal for allegedly committing blasphemy against the Prophet Muhammad and was sentenced to death by British judges of the Lahore High Court in 1929.
Imtiaz Rasheed Qureshi of the "Save the Judiciary Committee" has filed the petition for reopening the case and exonerating Ilamuddin.
Farooq Hasan, the counsel for Qureshi, argued Raj Pal had included blasphemous material in his book and had "invited his death".
He said: "Ghazi Ilamudin had no personal grudge with Pal and acted only out of love for the Prophet like a true Muslim."
Hasan requested the court to set aside the impugned order by exercising the principle of review.
Qureshi asked the court to direct authorities to honour Ilamuddin with state awards.
He also requested the court to direct the government to arrange a state funeral for Ilamuddin after declaring him "not guilty".