ISLAMABAD: A judge on Monday ordered police to refer the case of Christian girl Rimsha Masih accused of blasphemy to a juvenile court, following a medical report that said she was 14.
Rimsha Masih spent three weeks on remand in an adult jail after she was arrested on August 16 for allegedly burning pages from the Holy Quran, in a case that prompted worldwide condemnation.
Police on Saturday had told the court the girl was not guilty and the cleric, Khalid Jadoon, who allegedly framed her should face trial instead.
“We have received the medical report which says she is aged 14. The investigation report of her case must be submitted in a juvenile court,” District and Sessions Court of Judge Raja Jawad Abbas said.
Rao Abdur Rahim, the lawyer for Rimsha’s neighbour Hammad Malik, who originally accused her, objected to the medical report, but Abbas told him he should apply to the juvenile court when it takes up the case.
Rahim told the court that Rimsha girl is 21 years old and that the medical report that termed her as a minor was wrong.
The prosecution lawyer had earlier challenged the medical report, arguing that the medical board was not set up on court orders.
The prosecution lawyer also said that Rimsha had been sent off to Norway, however, the Christian girl’s lawyer, Advocate Tahir Naveed Chaudhry said that Rimsha was still in Pakistan, but her location could not be disclosed due to security hazards.
An official medical report has classified her as “uneducated” and aged 14, but with a mental age younger than her years. Others have said she is as young as 11 and suffers from Down’s Syndrome.
Rimsha and her family, who have been in fear for their lives since the blasphemy allegations, were moved to an undisclosed location after her release on bail on September 8.