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Minor girl to be tried under juvenile law

By: Malik Asad

ISLAMABAD: District and Sessions Judge (east) Raja Jawwad Abbas Hassan on Monday summoned the Christian girl accused in the blasphemy case and ordered the investigation officer to submit another challan under the Juvenile Justice System Ordinance 2000 against her.

The judge decided to try the minor girl under the JJSO and Imam Khalid Jadoon, the main accused in the case, under the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC).

The court also directed the police authorities to produce both of them on the next date of hearing, which is October 1.

During the hearing on Monday, Rao Abdul Rahim, counsel for the accuser Malik Ummad, told the court that the girl was deliberately absenting herself from appearing before the court. She might have gone to Norway and the court may cancel her bail to ensure her attendance during the trial, he added.

However, Abdul Hameed Rana, her counsel, denied the contention of advocate Rahim and said his client was very much in Pakistan and would appear in the court as and when she would be summoned.

He said the case registered against her was baseless and there was no evidence against the minor girl with the prosecution. The defence counsel are also going to move the Islamabad High Court (IHC) for the quashment of the FIR registered against her, he added.

Meanwhile, the girl, through her counsel Abdul Hameed Rana, filed a petition with the IHC to quash the FIR registered against her. In the petition, the girl’s counsel also requested the court to stop the proceedings of the session’s court against his client till final adjudication of the petition.

The petition said the FIR registered against the minor girl was baseless and based on the false information.

It contended that the actual picture of the issue was that as per the statement of the prosecution witness Hafiz Zubair, recorded under section 164 of CrPC on August 31, Imam Khalid Jadoon had allegedly included some burnt pages of the holy Quran in the shopping bag in order to prove the case against the Christian community so that they can be expelled from the locality of Mehra Jaffer.

The girl is also a juvenile and according to her medical report compiled by a medical board comprising seven doctors, her age was reported to be approximately 14 years and it was stated in the report that she appeared to be uneducated and her mental age also seemed less than her chronological age, said the FIR.

Under these circumstances, there is no chance of any conviction of the Christian girl and further proceedings in the case would be a futile exercise and wastage of precious time of the court of law, it added.

IHC Chief Justice Iqbal Hameedur Rehman would hear the petition on Tuesday.


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