26 July, 2014 / Ramazan 27, 1435

ISLAMABAD, Nov 14: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Chief Justice, Justice Iqbal hameedur Rehman, on Wednesday reserved the judgment on quashment of first information report (FIR) registered against the Christian girl for blasphemy.  

Abdul Hameed Rana, the counsel for the accused, had filed a petition in this regard on September 25. The girl was, however, released on September 7 on Rs1 million surety bonds.

The girl was arrested on August 17, 2012 after a resident of Mehra Jaffer, the area where the girl also belonged to, Malik Ummad lodged a complaint with the Ramna police against her accusing her of burning the pages of the Holy Book.

The police in its charge-sheet submitted in the court of district and sessions judge Islamabad in September, absolved the girl of the charges and instead nominated Imam Khalid Jadoon, imam of a mosque, as main accused.

The charge-sheet said that the Imam had included two pages of Holy Quran in the half burnt pages in order to make the evidence against the girl stronger.

It said the Christian girl was mentally weak and uneducated and was not able to distinguish between the papers of holy book or ordinary literature.

The statement of Hafiz Zubair, the prayer caller in the same mosque, was also incorporated in the charge-sheet. He in his statement had disclosed that the Imam had also committed the blasphemy, leading to his arrest.

In October, he and two other witnesses backed out from their statements claiming that the police had attributed to them a false statement which, subsequently, led to the release of Imam Jadoon on bail.

Abdul Hameed Rana, counsel for the Christian girl, on Wednesday told the court that Imam Jadoon trapped his client in the blasphemy in a well planned manner.

“They wanted to expel the Christians from Mehra Jaffer that is why he tried to make a false case against the girl in the case.” He said there was no direct evidence against the girl nor had any of the witnesses personally seen the girl burning the pages of the holy book.

The girl is a juvenile and also mentally weak, he added.

Chaudhry Abdul Aziz, counsel for the complainant Malik Ummad, on the other hand told the court that medical report, which showed the girl as minor, was not prepared in accordance with the prescribed procedure.

He said the police on the directions of senior officials distorted the facts of the case.

The accused could avail remedy from the sessions court where she could file acquittal plea under Section 249-A and 265-K, he said.

Deputy attorney general Tariq Mehmood Jahangir also opposed the petition.

He, however, told the court that “since the police have exonerated the girl from the main offence and placed her name in column No. 2 of the charge-sheet, which is reserved for the unconfirmed accused, therefore, the trial court could acquit her in the case.”

If the trial court does not entertain her acquittal plea, the girl under Article 199 can approach the IHC for getting appropriate relief, he added.

IHC Chief Justice Iqbal Hameedur Rehman after hearing the arguments form the counsel reserved the judgment which would be announced later.

A court official told Dawn that the registrar office would fix a date for the announcement of the judgment.

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