IHC dismisses ‘blasphemy’ case, declares Rimsha innocent

Published: November 20, 2012

File photo of Rimsha Masih being transferred to an undisclosed location via helicopter after she was released from jail. PHOTO: AFP/ FILE

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC), announcing its verdict, dismissed the FIR filed against 14-year-old Christian girl, Rimsha Masih, who was accused of committing blasphemy, reported Express News on Tuesday.

The verdict was announced on an application filed by Rimsha seeking quashment of the FIR against her.

“The court has quashed the case, declaring Rimsha innocent,” Rimsha’s lawyer Akmal Bhatti told AFP.

Paul Bhatti, the only Christian member of Pakistan’s federal cabinet, confirmed that the case had been thrown out by Islamabad High Court.

“I welcome this order. Justice has been done and the law of the land has been upheld by the court,” he told AFP.

“It will send out a positive image of Pakistan in the international community that there is justice for all and that society has risen up for justice and tolerance,” he added.

In an earlier hearing on November 14, IHC Chief Justice Iqbal Hameedur Rehman had reserved the judgement.

Rimsha was arrested from a slum in Islamabad on August 16 this year after a neighbour accused her of burning papers bearing verses from the Quran, a violation of Pakistan’s blasphemy laws.

On September 22, police investigating the case declared prayer leader Khalid Jadoon Chishti guilty, adding that there was no evidence against Rimsha and that he had framed her.

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.

Reader Comments (36)

  • Muhammad Irfan
    Nov 20, 2012 - 10:03AM

    This should be just the start.The cases against the Lahore school teacher and management,the case against the Christian boy from karachi(SSGC case) must also be dismissed.
    The blasphemy law is a blight on our society.The sooner it is done away with,the better for us.Recommend

  • zeeshan majeed
    Nov 20, 2012 - 10:06AM

    The state cannot,should not enforce religious ideology on its people through coercion and threats of punishment.Persecuting people for their freedom to think,to have a functioning brain is inhumane.Freedom of religion includes freedom from religion.Our public must realise this.Recommend

  • sabi
    Nov 20, 2012 - 10:12AM

    This is the ironey of this country that justice comes only under international pressure and that too from sc which actually is not its job.How many are lucky enough to get that international attention.Lower courts have completly surrender to extremists pressure because of states enablity to protect them.

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  • Salmanzq
    Nov 20, 2012 - 10:51AM

    Some sanity! Let’s see what kind of life she can live in Pakistan now!

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  • Nov 20, 2012 - 10:51AM

    This is good news to read because finally the courts and people are gradually moving away from ignorance and sin.

    Following the edicts, diktats, and fatwas of insignificant mullahs

    Stay safe Rimsha and Allah Almighty Bless you. SalamsRecommend

  • gp65
    Nov 20, 2012 - 11:00AM

    I hope the judge stays safe

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  • Clear Black File
    Nov 20, 2012 - 11:09AM

    Thanks an innocent,sinless and immature girl who misused has been freed who has been facing severe mental difficulties,distresses and exaggerated matter but whereas the main culprit/miscreant behind it is enjoying free life and a sinless,immature and innocent girl faced severe punishment….

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  • Cautious
    Nov 20, 2012 - 11:41AM

    It’s been a month since you proved the evidence against her was false — why the delay in finding her innocent?

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  • sabi
    Nov 20, 2012 - 11:54AM

    This is good news but bad message.That justice is to be given under extreme external pressure.How many can attract external pressure?.Why not remove basic flaws in the constitution.

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  • Ashraf P
    Nov 20, 2012 - 12:12PM

    But the poor girl’s life is ruined already. Unless Pakistan has a relocation program, her life will always be at risk. The Mullah who charged her falsely must be jailed for life.

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  • True_picture
    Nov 20, 2012 - 12:24PM

    Justice prevailed, that’s what matter’s in the end. P.S I’d like my Indian friends to better look in their own country, where a female college student was arrested for just expressing her views on Facebook & her shop was attacked by radical shiv sena supporters.

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  • m baig
    Nov 20, 2012 - 12:27PM

    The mullah should also pay for false accusation, the EVIL man.

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  • KY
    Nov 20, 2012 - 1:03PM

    It is good to see that Justice has been done, but would have loved it had the report also clarified what happened to the accuser and teh Prayer leader

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  • Nitish
    Nov 20, 2012 - 1:11PM

    @True_picture: Hehehehe……….. she is released and enjoying her day to day life rather to hide herself from bearded Mullah………Never ever doubt about our commitment towards human right and democracy…….

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  • Noble Tufail
    Nov 20, 2012 - 1:34PM

    There are hundreds of other muslims, christians, ahmadis facing the similar false accusations >> have pity on them.. revisit their cases as well and let the sanity prevail.

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  • Yasir
    Nov 20, 2012 - 2:02PM

    Thank you. This is just a start, lets go ahead and scrap the medieval blasphemy laws altogether.

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  • Hairaan
    Nov 20, 2012 - 2:04PM

    It will send out a positive image of Pakistan in the international community

    I thought you did it on merit. I see……….

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  • antony
    Nov 20, 2012 - 2:12PM

    @true picture, Atleast maharashtra police immediately arrested some 9 to 10 suspected shiv sena thugs who vandalised the clinic ..So rule of law is there and the law is not so in human to award death sentence . Most non maharastrian Indians are shouting in blogs,news sites about the arrest itself and hence it shows the level of matured democracy india has and its evolving with each damaging incidents …On the contrary this blasphemy case is misused so inhumanly (that law itself is inhuman) in pakistan and no political party is raising its voice..

    In India Justice Kaju , Kapil Sibal (Telecom minister and member of corrupt congress) oppose these girls arrest in the first place even though the girls were politely let off after warning. I have no respect for Bal thackerey but I respect the feelings of maharastrians who are mourning the loss of their right wing leader.

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  • Hu
    Nov 20, 2012 - 2:25PM

    The courts have finally done justise. But the accusers should be reprimanded so that such cases are not repeated again.
    It is time the government collectively works to change this archaic law. The fanatics cannot target such a large body

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  • R Powar
    Nov 20, 2012 - 2:26PM

    In India now we have proudly got our own blasphemy law.
    Yesterday in Mumbai two young girls were arrested by the local police. One of them had tweeted against the wisdom of shutting down Mumbai just because a local leader Bal Thackerey had died the previous day. The other one had merely liked the tweet. Hordes of Shiv Sainiks (our own version of Taliban, only not so deadly) had descended on the girl\’s house and forced the police to take action. Shades of Rimsha case?
    It is learnt that this will soon be legislated and will be called the Balasahebphemy law.Recommend

  • Pragmatist
    Nov 20, 2012 - 2:49PM

    @True_picture:
    You are right about the 2 girls arrested in India over comments on FB. That is not something we are proud of. That does not mean that Indians must stop commenting on other issues.

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  • Ali
    Nov 20, 2012 - 3:00PM

    Justice should be done for the sake of Justice and nothing else. It should not matter what the international community thinks. Be it a minority member or a religious activest

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  • S K Afridi
    Nov 20, 2012 - 3:12PM

    The prayer leader who had lodged a fictitious FIR against the innocent girl should be punished for blasphemy. This will serve as a deterrent for those who indulge in misuse of blasphemy law.

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  • R2D2
    Nov 20, 2012 - 3:14PM

    blasphemy law is an indicator of ignorance and a mindset of of the times when people used to marry 5 year old girls and still respected in some sectors of the society. In civilized world that is considered a crime, Unless Pakistan wants to stay stuck in the dark ages, it needs to bury this sign of ignorance

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  • Parvez
    Nov 20, 2012 - 3:16PM

    Justice will prevail only when those who have wrongly accused her are punished.
    Justice will prevail, in the end, when the law is amended so that it is not misused.

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  • Zeux
    Nov 20, 2012 - 3:40PM

    Good Job Court.
    We knew it. Please now charge the Mullah for false accusation

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  • ishrat salim
    Nov 20, 2012 - 3:56PM

    @sabi:

    STOP being emotional…under the influence of emotion you are accusing SC unnecessarily, it is the IHC ( Islamabad High Court ), who announced the verdict after the police proved that it was planted by the prayer leader…so pls do not comment without knowing the details & pls do not comment for the sake of commenting….

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  • gp65
    Nov 20, 2012 - 7:52PM

    @Parvez: “Justice will prevail only when those who have wrongly accused her are punished.
    Justice will prevail, in the end, when the law is amended so that it is not misused.”

    Exactly my feelings. Sadly I can recommend your post only once.

    Recommend

  • gp65
    Nov 20, 2012 - 7:57PM

    @R Powar: The arrests were wrong and indefensible but the girls got bail and their lives are not in any danger. The Shiv Sainiks who vandalised were arrested. Justice Katju , Kapil Sibal are just 2 examples of well known public figures who openly spoke against the arrest. When a similar incident had happened in West Bengal in April where someoen was arrested for forwardng email cartoons of the chief minister, it was the police who conducted the arrest that faced strictures. Hopefully this wil also occur in this case.So while the original arrest was wrong, the reaction of civil socety in India was not muted – unlike poor Aafia Bibi whose case o one dares to speak about after what happened to Tasir and Bhati.

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  • sabi
    Nov 20, 2012 - 9:16PM

    @ishrat salim:
    “STOP being emotional…under the influence of emotion you are accusing SC unnecessarily,”
    In a country where lower courts cease giving justice and sc has to decide the fate of commen crimes
    Where representatives of the people ceases to perform their real duty of making legislation and instead, forced to build gutters and streets
    Where servents of the state rebel and starts making legislation instead of performi their real duty to build and run institutions effectively.
    Where religion becomes a powerfull weapon in the hand of mafias and restricts citizens freedom and threat to life and state becomes helpless to protect its citizens from these thugs.
    Where sane voices are silenced or forced to leave the country
    Where media continues to mislead public and unleash mayhem.
    Where black money becomes a symbol of prestige
    You think it emotional or commenting for the sake of comment:Think for a moment where this country is heading.

    Recommend

  • Qasim Sheikh
    Nov 21, 2012 - 12:29AM

    The blasphemy laws need to go. They are shame to Pakistan and also to Islam.
    Islam is a religion of peace. Our Prophet Muhammad PBUH stayed calm even when the
    Quraiysh and other Kuffar insulted him.

    The Blasphemy itself is a blasphemy because the Quran specifically states.

    The Quran expressly and unambiguously prohibits the use of coercion in faith because coercion would violate a fundamental human right—the right to a free conscience. A different belief system is not deemed a legitimate cause for violence or war under Islamic law.

    The Quran is categorical on this: “There shall be no compulsion in religion” (2:256); “Say to the disbelievers [that is, atheists, or polytheists, namely those who reject God] “To you, your beliefs, to me, mine” (109:1-6)”

    Christian Pakistanis are our friends and neighbors and many of their ancestors worked with us to fight for freedom in the subcontinent from the British. Instead of moving to India after the partition, the Christians stayed in Pakistan. Many good Christian Pakistanis teach our kids in schools, work in the government and some served our nation while serving in the Pakistan Armed Forces.

    Let us embrace our Christian neighbors as our friends and brothers! Pakistan is better than this!Recommend

  • gary longshott
    Nov 21, 2012 - 3:21AM

    Well done Pakistan!

    At last some good news.

    Recommend

  • Luigi Rosolin
    Nov 21, 2012 - 7:42AM

    I’m please that at the end the accused poor child had been found not guilty and falsely accused.
    Many of the comment had been asking for the clearly unjust law of blasphemy to be removed.
    I agree, the majority of citizens are for sure against such law that is used to blackmail anyone who rise the voice for justice and freedom.
    The other important issue is that the accuser must be repent and given an apology at least.
    The police and the judge should come hard on him as is guilty of a tentative to end someone life and cause inappropriate tension and racism!
    Justice is not done in Pakistan, India, Australia, Italy, is any one nation immune? See indigenous Australian for example.
    The world humanity is subjected to injustices-corruption at all level, some country are less effected as the citizens are capable to control their leader and the society by the action and capacity to stand up for they principal.
    Corruption of our societies had reached an epidemic level which is creating falling morality and integrity.
    Citizens’ worldwide always had found difficult to access justice and in our time is more evident.
    I knowledge and praise the honest one who are enduring hardship to defend justice and are not giving up by the opposition who hate them.
    My hope and prayer is that God (In my case Jesus) will protect and as had promised will return to bring peace and justice for all humanity.

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  • mak
    Nov 22, 2012 - 7:37AM

    salute to Mr Justice Iqbal Hameed ur rehman and his team.

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  • Nov 27, 2012 - 10:26AM

    This is very good for the Pakistani nation that, they took the decision of court without discrimination on the basis of religion. Some people say that this decision is done due to the pressure of other countries like U.S.A it doesn’t matter truth can be supported from any one. She is innocent therefore her truthfulness awarded her with freedom . And it is also the first step to wards the Pakistan of Quad-e-Azam that every one should be treated as Pakistani with-out the basis of religion.This is also first step towards the development of Pakistan.

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  • Nov 29, 2012 - 5:14PM

    IHC made a good decision and showed their responsibility. The decision of IHC showed that Pakistan is country which is protecting the people of other religions. The case was not based upon truth and IHC took very good step by dismissing this case.

    Recommend

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