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Court building witnesses scenes

September 08, 2012

ISLAMABAD, Sept 7: Scenes were witnessed in and around the district and sessions court during hearing of the bail petition of the Christian girl accused of blasphemy after two persons were caught while recording the court proceedings in their cellphones, police said.

Besides, representatives of civil society organisations and children suffering from Down Syndrome staged a protest demonstration outside the courtroom.

In response, the additional district and sessions judge (West) Azam Khan called the Margalla police.

Some lawyers spotted a foreign journalist, who was later identified as Robert Grill, and human rights activist Marvi Sarmad recording the court proceedings in their mobile phones. Later, on the direction of the judge, the court staff snatched the phones from them after they seemed reluctant to hand them over.

The judge asked the SHO of Margalla about the measures taken for security and maintenance of the court decorum.  The SHO informed the court about the arrangements and said journalists should also maintain the decorum of the court. Later, Ms Sarmad and Mr Grill tendered an apology to the court which was accepted.

A lawyer on the direction of the judge deleted the recordings from the mobile phones of the two.

Two squads of police commandos and two police reserves were deployed around the court during the hearing of the bail application.

About 50 persons, including the representatives of civil society organisations and children from All Pakistan Down Syndrome, Jhelum, staged the protest demonstration near the court in support of the Christian girl. Moreover, the cameraman of a foreign media organisation and a photographer from a new agency ran into a brief scuffle outside the courtroom over a petty issue.

However, other journalists covering the event intervened and resolved the matter.— Staff Reporter