IHC ruling: Lal Masjid caretaker’s name struck off Fourth Schedule

Ruling was passed after the Punjab’s CTD failed to produce evidence

Our Correspondent January 17, 2017

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court ordered the authorities concerned on Monday to remove the name of a caretaker (Khadim) of the Lal Masjid from the Fourth Schedule list of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997.

The ruling was passed by Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui of the IHC after the Punjab Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) failed to produce evidence against the Khadim, Manzoor Hussain.

Earlier, the CTD had submitted a report to the district police officer in Attock, alleging that Hussain used to meet with members of the banned Ahl-e-Sunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ), formerly known as the Sipah-e-Sahaba, at his residence in Attock.

Subsequently, he was placed in the list by the Punjab Home Department in February last year.

When the petitioner approached the high court against the decision, the court summoned officials of the home department and Punjab CTD to produce relevant evidence in this regard.

The respondents, however, failed to provide proof against Hussain. They could not even provide names of people whom Hussain allegedly used to meet in Attock.

Subsequently, the court cited insufficient evidence and directed the authorities concerned to remove his name from the fourth schedule. The court also ordered to unfreeze his CNIC and bank accounts.

Fourth Schedule is a section of the ATA under which suspected terrorists are kept under constant observation. It is mandatory for a Fourth Scheduler to provide regular reports regarding his whereabouts to the local police.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 17th, 2017.


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