A district court in Islamabad on Wednesday reserved judgment on the post-arrest bail application of Khalid Jadoon, the prayer leader of Mehra Jaffer mosque who had been accused of altering the evidence against blasphemy accused Rimsha Masih.
During Wednesday’s hearing, Jadoon’s counsel Syed Wajid Ali Gillani said that the Islamabad High Court (IHC) had issued a restraining order against Rimsha’s trial (until Oct 17), but not against granting bail to his client. He requested the court to grant bail to the mosque leader.
Furthermore, Rao Abdul Rahim, the counsel for Hammad Malik, the prime accuser in the blasphemy case against Rimsha, and District Attorney Islamabad, Mehfooz Paracha, also said that no restraining order had been issued against the grant of bail to Jadoon.
However, District and Sessions Judge Islamabad Raja Jawwad Abbas reserved judgment on the bail application and will issue a ruling on Oct 11. The judge also recommended that Jadoon’s counsel clarify with the IHC over details on the restraining order against Rimsha’s trial.
After the proceedings, Advocate Syed Wajid Ali Gillani told The Express Tribune that he would move the IHC to seek clarification on his client’s bail.
The restraining orders from the higher court came after Rimsha Masih filed a petition to invalidate an FIR (First Information Report) against her registered on August, 16.
Police had arrested Jadoon on Sept 1 and sent him to Adiala Jail on 14-day judicial remand after Hafiz Zubair, a member of the Mehra Jaffer mosque, had accused him of altering the evidence against Rimsha.
Police investigating the case declared Jadoon guilty on September 22, and said there was no evidence implicating Rimsha of blasphemy charges.
On Oct 1, three prosecution witnesses — Qari Owais, Khurram Shehzad and Danish Ahmed — backtracked from their earlier statements in which they had endorsed Zubair’s statement, claiming these were recorded under duress.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 4th, 2012.
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