The Supreme Court on Wednesday set aside Islamabad High Court’s (IHC) directives to suspend the detention order of Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, the alleged mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai attacks.
While hearing the federal government’s appeal against the IHC order, a two-judge bench of the top court, headed by Justice Jawwad S Khawaja, observed that the directives against the suspension of Lakhvi’s detention were seemingly passed in a hurry, without proper consideration.
Earlier in the hearing, Deputy Attorney General (DAG) Jadoon Khan told the bench that the federation received a notice about the IHC order in his absence. He added that despite the fact that his office was located on the IHC premises, he was not called before the court issued the notice.
Orders for Lakhvi’s detention under the Maintenance of Public Order (3MPO) were issued on December 19, a day after he was granted bail by an anti-terrorism court (ATC) in Islamabad.
However, on December 29, the IHC accepted Lakhvi’s appeal and temporarily suspended the detention orders. IHC judge Justice Noorul Haq N Qureshi allowed Lakhvi’s release on condition that he deposit a Rs1 million bail bond with the ATC and ensure his presence at every hearing of the case.
The federation challenged the IHC order on January 1, contending that the directives were illegal and passed based on a “complete misreading of the law, without due consideration of relevant facts and circumstances.”
During Wednesday’s hearing, Justice Qazi Faez Essa – the other member of the top court bench hearing the govt’s appeal – questioned whether there was any precedent of passing an interim order against the MPO.
Referring the matter to the IHC, the bench ordered that the writ petition would be decided after hearing both sides in the case. Both parties have been directed to appear before the high court on Monday (January 12).
Published in The Express Tribune, January 8th, 2014.
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