RAWALPINDI - A division bench of the Lahore High Court (LHC) on Tuesday rejected the acquittal plea of Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, the alleged mastermind of the Mumbai attack, and maintained the decision of a trial court on his application for release in the case. The bench comprising Justice Asad Munir and Justice Ejaz Ahmed announced the verdict, which was earlier reserved by Justice Sagheer Ahmed Qadri and Justice Ejazul Ahsan after completion of special prosecutor Malik Rab Nawaz Noon and the defence counsels arguments in the case. Talking to TheNation, Shehbaz Ahmed Rajput Advocate informed that the court rejected the acquittal plea of Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi but observed in the judgement that it could be filed again on the appropriate time because it was not a proper stage for filing of an acquittal plea. However, the court also observed that Ajmal Kasabs statement could not be produced as evidence since it did not fulfil all the requirements of the Article 43 of Qanoon-e-Shahdat 1984, he said. Earlier, the special prosecutor told the court that prosecution had ample proofs against the accused Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi that he was involved in the Mumbai attack. He contended that the confessional statement of Ajmal Kasab, which had been handed over to the Government by India, could be produced before the court as proof against the accused. He further argued that the national investigating agencies of Pakistan also found him guilty during their investigations. It may be mentioned here that the petitioner Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi had filed the petition through his lawyer Khawaja Sultan Ahmed against the dismissal of his acquittal plea by the trial court. He stated, in his petition, that proceedings against him should be quashed and he should be acquitted under the Section 265-K of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), as there was no evidence or witness against him were produced that could get him convicted in the case. Zakiur Rehman said that the judge had failed to appreciate the fact that there was no witness against him and no incriminating material had been recovered from his custody. He further maintained that he had been implicated in the case on the basis of information including the confessional statement of Ajmal Kasab, which were provided by India. He contended that under the law, the confessional statement was not admissible as evidence against him because Kasab had not been cited as an accused or proclaimed offender in three separate charge sheets submitted by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) in the case. Zakiur Rehman said that the prosecution had no evidence that he had trained Kasab for terrorist activities or hatched a conspiracy to carry out the Mumbai attacks. He further said the documentary evidence on record only revealed the running of training campus.