Pakistani court today barred the government from booking Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, the 2008 Mumbai attack mastermind, in any other case without its permission after his counsel argued that “false” cases might be slapped against him to keep him in jail.
Islamabad High Court (IHC) judge Noorul Haq Qureshi today took up the plea of 55-year-old Lakhvi against his detention under a public security act and issued a notice to the government for a reply on March 5.
On the request of Lakhvi’s counsel Raja Rizwan Abbasi, the judge restrained the government from filing any another case against him without bringing the matter into its notice.
Abbasi informed the court that the government was planning to register another case against his client like it did when he was granted bail in the Mumbai attack case.
“The government earlier had registered a false case of abduction of an Afghan national, Anwer Khan, against his client but it could not prove anything against him in the court,” he argued.
Talking to PTI after the hearing, Abbasi confirmed that the IHC had stopped the government from registering any another criminal case against Lakhvi without its permission.
“The court has also sought government’s reply on the detention of Mr Lakhvi for March 5,” he said.
The IHC sent notices to the federal and district magistrates, seeking their replies on Lakhvi’s detention and adjourned the hearing to March 5. During the hearing, Abbasi contended that it was the third time his client had been served with the detention orders to keep him in jail.
“The government has detained me on illegal grounds. After bail from the trial court, the government had no legal justification to put me behind the bar. The government is doing so only on the pressure of India,” Lakhvi had said.
On December 18, 2014, the trial court granted bail to 54-year-old Lakhvi but was detained the next day under the Maintenance of Public Order (MPO).
However, the IHC suspended Lakhvi’s detention on “weak legal ground”. Just before he was to be released from Adiala Jail, Rawalpindi, Lakhvi was arrested on charges of kidnapping Khan in 2009.
Pakistan faced strong reaction from India following the bail order.
He has been kept in the high-security Adiala Jail, Rawalpindi till second week of the next month under the same order after the Pakistan government extended his detention by 30 days.
Lakhvi and six others have been charged with planning and executing the Mumbai attack in November, 2008 that left 166 people dead.