The case of Rimsha Masih, the Christian girl who allegedly burnt a Noorani Qaida, a book that familiarises children with the Holy Quran, took a turn for the better on Tuesday when her lawyer informed the media that a medical board has determined that she was a minor.
"This means that Rimsha's case will be heard by the juvenile court and not by a district and sessions judge," said Tahir Naveed Chaudhry, the girl's lawyer. However, the board is silent on the mental state of Rimsha, which is also a crucial factor in proving her innocence.
The Rimsha case is proving to be a watershed in the widespread abuse of Pakistan's blasphemy law, with even extremist Islamicist groups criticising her arrest.
Chaudhry said the report by a medical board determined she was between 13 and 14. The board also said that the mental state of Rimsha "did not correspond with her age".
A juvenile court system is expected to take a lenient view of the matter.