ISLAMABAD  - The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday gave one-day time to the Federal government to produce record before the court in the case of Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi as the former had challenged his 30-day detention orders.
A single bench of IHC comprising Justice Noor-ul-Haq N Qureshi will resume the hearing in this matter of operational chief of banned outfit Lashkar-e-Tayyaba (LeT) Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi here on Tuesday (today).
On December 29, 2014, the same court had suspended detention orders of Lakhvi, as the Federal government could not submit a detailed reply as per court's December 26 directions.
Then, the Federal government approached the Supreme Court with contentions that the IHC did not hear their version after IHC bench on December 29 had issued directions to release Lakhvi.
Later, on January 6, the Supreme Court annulled the IHC order regarding release of Lakhvi and remanded back the case to IHC with directions to adjudicate the matter after hearing both the sides.
On Monday, the Federal government once again sought more time to produce record in this case and also prayed that the record and other documents may be kept secret.
Additional Attorney General (AAG) Afnan Karim Kundi appeared before the court on behalf of the government while Islamabad district administration was represented by Advocate General (AG) Islamabad Mian Abdur Rauf.
During the proceedings, Justice Qureshi remarked that the government had adopted before the apex court that their version was not heard on December 29 while suspending Lakhvi's detention orders.
He said that as a matter of fact the AAG did not appear before the court despite notices.
Justice Qureshi said that the government has been doing it according to its wishes that when to appear before the court and when do not.
The AAG requested the court to hear this sensitive matter in camera whereas legal counsel for Lakhvi, Raja Rizwan Abbasi Advocate, said that he has examined record of the prosecution and there is nothing in it that needs to be kept secret.
However, the IHC bench observed that the court would decide in this matter.
The AAG told the court that 5 days had left in the 30-day detention of Lakhvi and the law permitted that the government could extend in this duration but it did not mean that it was aimed at further extending in the detention period.
At this juncture, Justice Qureshi said, does it mean that you have powers to detain a person till death? How liberty of a citizen could be withheld, Justice Qureshi also said. He further said that it appears from your discussion that government is aimed at extending in the detention period of Lakhvi.
The counsel for Lakhvi contended before the court that he could produce such evidence that will prove that the Pakistani government is facing immense Indian pressure regarding the release of his client.
He sought court's permission to exhibit footage of Indian news channels before the court in this regard. However, the IHC bench rejected the request.
Advocate General Islamabad Mian Abdur Rauf said that the record in this case that is to be produced before the court may be kept secret and only legal counsel for the petitioner may be allowed to see that.
Raja Rizwan Abbasi Advocate said that he has already examined the record about which it is being requested to keep secret and that pertains to the reports of intelligence agencies whereas there exist no evidence regarding the allegations levelled against his client.
Lakhvi's counsel said that his client has no connections whatsoever with al Qaeda or any other militant organisation and all the allegations were without documentary proof.
Then, the court directed AAG to come up and appear before the court with the record and evidence on Tuesday (today).
In another matter of the same petitioner, Justice Qureshi issued notices to Ministry of Interior seeking its reply in one-week time where Lakhvi had filed an Omnibus bail petition for grant of bail in all pending cases against him.
Lakhvi in this particular petition maintained that the government has been initiating different cases against him for procuring his arrest.
The government may be directed to produce list of all pending cases against him and may also be directed not to arrest the petitioner without prior permission of the court.