(Source: “Nine-month-old boy charged with attempted murder in Pakistan granted bail by judge,” The Independent, 4 April 2014)
The accused Muhammad Mosa Khan, released released on bail, due back in court on 12 April 2014…
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A nine-month-old boy charged with planning a murder, threatening police and interfering with state affairs in Pakistan has been granted bail after appearing in court this week.
Toddler Muhammad Mosa Khan was booked in February along with 30 other people, including a number of members of his family, after stones were allegedly thrown at police and energy officials during raids on homes in Lahore. Residents had been accused of not paying for electricity.
Apparently deciding that the nine month old was capable of – and had – taken part in the alleged stone throwing, Sub-Inspector Kashif Ahmed decided to arrest the child.
What followed were farcical scenes in which the toddler was fingerprinted and made to sit on his grandfather’s lap in court, drinking his bottle.
The judge quickly granted bail for the child, along with the other people accused in the case. Baby Muhammad is however currently expected back in court on 12 April – although the judge apparently noted the absurd nature of the charge, he does not have the powers to dismiss the case against him.
The toddlers grandfather, Mohammad Yaseen told Reuters: “He was booked under Section 326 and was presented before a court. He doesn’t even know how to pick up his milk bottle properly. How can he stone the police?”
Sub-Inspector Ahmed has reportedly been since suspended as a result of making the arrest and Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif said stern action will be taken against the police officials who registered the case.
The age of criminal responsibility in Pakistan is supposed to be 12-years-old.