KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) questioned on Tuesday the maintainability of a petition challenging the detention of the Pakistan Peoples Party leader, Dr Asim Hussain, under the Anti-Terrorism Act by the Rangers.
Dr Hussain, a former petroleum minister, was arrested by the paramilitary force on August 26 last year and detained for 90 days under Section 11EEEE of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997. His wife, Dr Zareen Hussain, approached the SHC, citing interior secretary, the provincial home secretary, the provincial Rangers DG, the Sindh IG and Rangers HQ Abdullah Shah Ghazi sector commander Colonel Amjad Jamil Iqbal as respondents.
She had argued in her petition that the detention of her husband under terrorism laws was unlawful, illegal, without jurisdiction, unconstitutional, arbitrary and malafide. She insisted her husband was a patriotic Pakistani and a leader in public service.
The said provision of 11EEEE was unconstitutional in its present form as it was contrary to Article 10 of the Constitution, she said. “No unbridled power can be conferred to deprive a citizen of his fundamental rights guaranteed under the Article 9, 10-A, 14 read with the Article 4 of the Constitution,” she said.
The court was pleaded to declare Section 11EEEE of the ATA as ‘ultra vires’ to articles 9, 10, 10-A, 14, 15, 16, 18, 19-A, 25 read with the Articles 4 and 8. The court was also requested to declare the detention order and jail warrant issued by the Rangers DG and the sector commander as illegal.
The division bench, headed by SHC chief justice Sajjad Ali Shah, directed the petitioner’s lawyer to satisfy the court on the maintainability of the petition. Adjourning the hearing till February 17, the bench also issued a notice to the federal government to file its reply.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 1st, 2017.
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