Punjab government challenges release of Lakhvi in Supreme Court

Islamabad High Court gives ATC two months to complete his bail case



By Afzal Khan

Published: Wed 15 Apr 2015, 10:57 PM

Last updated: Thu 25 Jun 2015, 8:38 PM

Islamabad — The Punjab government on Tuesday challenged in the Supreme Court the Lahore High Court’s order releasing Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, the alleged mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks.

In a petition filed in the apex court by the Punjab home department, it was maintained that there was sufficiently strong evidence against Lakhvi, but Lahore High Court’s Justice Anwarul Haq ignored it and ordered Lakhvi’s release on April 10.

The apex court has been requested in the petition to suspend the Lahore High Court’s decision to release Lakhvi and order that his detention be restored under the Maintenance of Public Order (MPO). The Punjab government had previously maintained that Lakhvi has been detained based on “sensitive information” provided by intelligence agencies.

Strong evidence against Lakhvi

In a petition filed in the apex court by the Punjab home department, it was maintained that there was sufficiently strong evidence against Lakhvi, but Lahore High Court’s Justice Anwarul Haq ignored it and ordered Lakhvi’s release on April 10

Lakhvi had challenged his fourth one-month detention on March 14, upon which the Lahore High Court had ordered his immediate release. Lakhvi is among seven persons charged with planning and helping to carry out the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks.

The six other men facing trial in Adiala Jail for their alleged involvement in the Mumbai attacks are Hammad Amin Sadiq, Shahid Jamil Riaz, Younas Anjum, Jamil Ahmed, Mazhar Iqbal and Abdul Majid.

At the time of the attacks, Lakhvi was suspected to be the operational head of the banned Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT).

Lakhvi, along with Zarar Shah, was allegedly the key planner of the attack in which 166 people were killed.

Meanwhile, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) has ordered the anti-terrorism court (ATC) to conclude in two months a terrorism case against Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi.

A division bench, headed by Justice Noorul Haq Qureshi, also bound the defence lawyers to ensure their presence in every hearing otherwise the high court would be left with no choice but to accept the federal government’s plea to cancel the bail granted to Lakhvi.

Special prosecutor Azhar Chaudhry and Abu Zar Pirzada appeared on behalf of the FIA and requested the high court to cancel the bail, arguing that the trial against Lakhvi would be concluded soon.

The trial court has already recorded statements of 52 witnesses whereas the recording of evidence of another 22 witnesses will be completed soon, they added. But the prosecutors feared that Lakhvi could influence the witnesses if he was allowed to move freely.

news@khaleejtimes.com

(With inputs from IANS)


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