Court grants bail to Khalid Jadoon
ISLAMABAD: District and sessions judge Islamabad Raja Jawwad Abbas on Thursday granted bail to Khalid Jadoon, the prayer leader of Mehra Jaffer mosque who had been accused of altering the evidence against blasphemy accused Rimsha Masih, DawnNews reported.
The cleric was granted bail against a surety of rupees 200,000.
Police had arrested Jadoon on Sept 1 after Hafiz Zubair, a member of the Mehra Jaffer mosque, had accused him of altering the evidence against Rimsha.
On Oct 1, three prosecution witnesses — Qari Owais, Khurram Shehzad and Danish — backtracked from their earlier statements in which they had endorsed Zubair’s allegation.
In light of the witnesses’ earlier statements and the competition of the preliminary investigation, Jadoon had been declared the main accused in the first challan in the blasphemy case submitted to the sessions court.
On Oct 3, Judge Abbas had stopped the proceedings on Jadoon’s bail petition and had directed his counsel to seek clarification of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) order, in which it had stayed the trial proceedings of the blasphemy case.
Later on Oct 5, Syed Wajid Ali Gilani, Jadoon’s counsel, had filed a petition with the IHC which sought clarification about the court’s restraining order to the trial court seized with his bail application.
Rimsha Masih case
Masih was arrested on Aug 18 under Pakistan’s blasphemy laws. Her case gained huge attention because of the girl’s age and questions about her mental capacity.
On Sept 7, the additional district and sessions court of Islamabad had granted bail to the Rimsha. Later on Sept 8, she was airlifted from Adiyala jail to an unspecified location within Islamabad under the protective custody of police after completion of legal formalities by her lawyers.
The girl belonging to the Christian community is said to be suffering from Down’s Syndrome.
Rimsha’s arrest, under the blasphemy laws, had also triggered an exodus of several hundred Christians from her poor neighbourhood on the edge of Islamabad.
Blasphemy is an extremely sensitive subject in Pakistan, where 97 per cent of the 180 million population are Muslims, and allegations of desecrating the Holy Quran or insulting Islam often provoke public fury.