The Sindh High Court issued on Thursday notices to the Sindh chief secretary, jail authors and other respondents, seeking their replies on a contempt of court plea filed in connection was the detention of Ahmed Omar Sheikh and others after their acquittal and despite the court ordering their release in the Daniel Pearl murder case.
At the hearing, the court asked the Sindh advocate-general (AG) why the acquitted persons weren't released yet.
The AG replied, "[The court may] issue a notice so that we can submit a written reply on the matter."
At this, the court issued notices to the chief secretary, jail authorities and others, seeking their replies on January 7.
Earlier, the court had declared the detention orders of Sheikh and others issued by the Sindh government null and void and had ordered putting the names of the acquitted men on the exit control list (ECL).
The court had observed that Sheikh and others had been in jail for the last 18 years and ordered them to appear as and when the court summoned them after their release.
The provincial home department had detained the accused under the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) on September 28.
Four men convicted of the murder had moved the SHC, challenging their convictions handed down by the Hyderabad Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) in 2002.
The ATC had handed death sentence to main accused, Sheikh, and life sentences to other three accused.
The high court had overturned the verdict and acquitted convicts on April 2 this year.
The Sindh Government and the family of Daniel Pearl filed appeals against the high court's verdict in the Supreme Court, where case proceedings are underway.
The 38-year-old South Asia bureau chief of The Wall Street Journal, Daniel Pearl, was abducted and slain in January 2002 in Karachi.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 1st, 2021.
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