rimsha-rescue-AFP-670
Security personnel shift Rimsha Masih (L) to a helicopter after her release from jail in Rawalpindi on Sept 8, 2012. — Photo by AFP

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday extended the restraining order against the trial of Rimsha Masih, a minor Christian girl who had been accused of committing blasphemy, until Nov 14, DawnNews reported.

The IHC extended the stay during the hearing of a petition filed by the accused girl for quashing the FIR registered against her which she had pleaded was baseless and had been based on false information.

The court extended the stay in order to first decide on the petition for quashing the FIR.

During Wednesday’s hearing of Rimsha’s petition, Chaudhry Abdul Aziz Advocate submitted his power of attorney on behalf of Malik Ummad, the accuser.

The court directed the counsels to conclude their arguments at the upcoming hearing on Nov 14 and extended the restraining order until the said date.

Earlier on Oct 1, IHC Chief Justice Iqbal Hameedur Rehman had stayed the trial until Oct 17.

Rimsha’s petition

In the petition filed for the FIR’s quashing, Rimsha’s lawyer had contended that it was the Imam of Mehra Jaffer mosque, Khalid Jadoon, who had fabricated the charge of blasphemy because he wanted the Christian community to leave the area.

Counsel Abdul Hameed Rana referred to the statement of prosecution witness Hafiz Zubair recorded under section 164 of CrPC on August 31 that the Imam had put pages of the Holy Quran in the shopping bag to make a case against the Christians.

Also, he said, the girl was a juvenile according to her medical report compiled by a board of seven doctors, which had also stated that she appeared to be uneducated and of underdeveloped mind.

Under these circumstances, there was no chance of her conviction and further proceeding with the case would be a futile exercise, the petition had stated.

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