Baby Indicted

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Baby Indicted

Muhammad Mosa Khan, who claims to be a nine-month-old infant, was charged yesterday with attempted murder and assaulting a police officer, according to multiple sources (BBCThe News (Pakistan)) (thanks, Justin).

The accused was released after posting a bond of 50,000 rupees.

Mosa Khan was apprehended when police raided a Lahore neighborhood in an effort to arrest people involved in stealing utility services. Police claimed that they came under attack by an angry crowd that pelted them with stones, and they arrested 35 members of the group, including Mosa Khan. The suspects claimed they were only protesting an electricity shortage, but all were booked under Sections 324 and 353 of the Pakistan Penal Code (attempted murder and assaulting a public servant, respectively).

Mosa Khan's lawyer argued that his client was immune from prosecution under PPC Section 82, which provides that "Nothing is an offence, which is done by a child under seven years of age." Though the judge agreed to grant bail, he said he did not have jurisdiction to dismiss the charges against the alleged baby. The local magistrate can do so but the case apparently has not reached him yet.

It has come to the attention of Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif, who "took notice of a registration of a case against the nine-month-old baby" and demanded an explanation from local authorities. The News also reported that the police have suspended the assistant sub-inspector who booked the infant, on the orders of the chief minister "and in a bid to avoid further shame."

Which, as far as I can tell, is not working.