IHC stays blasphemy trial
ISLAMABAD, Sept 28: Chief Justice Iqbal Hameedur Rehman of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Friday stayed the blasphemy trial of the minor Christian girl in order to first hear on October 1 her petition for quashing the FIR registered against her.
Justice Rehman ordered the stay after the petitioner’s lawyer, Abdul Hameed Rana, said the trial in a lower court was to begin on the same date.
Earlier, lawyer Fazalur Rehman Niazi, representing her accuser, Malik Ummad, told the court that his client had not received the court notice that the petition for quashing the case would be heard on Friday and sought time to prepare his reply.
Chief Justice Rehman observed that because the petitioner’s lawyer had not deposited the required fee, the notice could not be delivered through special messenger to the complainant.
He directed the additional registrar of Islamabad High Court judicial branch and the police investigation officer in the case to ensure the notice for October 1 is delivered in time.
The petition filed by the accused Christian girl said the FIR registered against her was baseless and based on false information.
Her lawyer contended that it was the Imam of Mehra Jaffer mosque, Khalid Jadoon, who fabricated the charge of blasphemy because he wanted the Christian community leave the area.
Counsel Abdul Hameed Rana referred to the statement prosecution witness Hafiz Zubair recorded under section 164 of CrPC on August 31 that the Imam put pages of 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 stated that she appears 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 said.