ISLAMABAD - The Islamabad High Court (IHC) will Monday (today) resume hearing of the petition of a naval officer’s wife who stated that her husband had been missing ever since the Naval Intelligence had allegedly picked him up last year.

A single bench of IHC comprising Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui will conduct the hearing of the petition moved by missing naval officer Sub Lt Hafiz Ehsanullah Sajjad’s wife Safia Ismail through her counsel Col (Retd) Inam-ul-Rahim Advocate.

Talking to The Nation here on Sunday, Advocate Inam said that on the last hearing, a Naval Commander Zafarullah appeared before the court but he could not satisfy the court. Therefore, he added, the court directed Deputy Attorney General Aafnan Karim Kundi to submit a written reply in this connection.

Earlier, the same IHC single bench had directed Defence Ministry to depute a responsible officer to apprise the court of facts in the petition of a naval officer’s wife who stated that her husband had been missing ever since Naval Intelligence had allegedly picked him up last year.

In her petition, petitioner Safia Ismail cited Federation of Pakistan through Secretary Ministry of Defence, Chief of Naval Staff and Director General (DG) Naval Intelligence as respondents.

In her petition, Safia has claimed that her husband was allegedly in the custody of naval authorities without any charges being levelled against him. She said Sajjad was taken away from his residence in Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Karachi, by ‘some people in plain clothes’ on the evening of September 6, 2014.

The counsel for the petitioner adopted that Sajjad had sought permission from the Pakistan Navy to resign from service in July 2014 for personal reasons, adding his request remained under process before he was picked up.

He added that later it was revealed that Sajjad was in the custody of Naval Intelligence without any charge-sheet against him. The petitioner has contacted the entire chain of command but in vain.

The counsel contended in the petition that under Rule 44(5) of Naval Ordinance 1961, no person shall be held in close arrest for more than 90 consecutive days without a court martial being convened.

He continued that under section 90 (3) of the ordinance, if a person is detained and remained in the custody for more than eight days without brought before a trial, a special report giving reasons for delay shall be made by his commanding officer to Chief of Naval Staff and similar report shall be forwarded after every eight days until a court martial is assembled or such person is released from the custody.

Inam was of the view that the right to be treated in accordance with law to which the husband of petitioner is amenable and not being treated as per the aforesaid law governing the subject, the petitioner’s husband is being subjected to illegal and mala fide actions not countenanced by the law or the fundamental guarantees under the constitution.

He added that the detention of petitioner’s husband is clear violation of articles 4, 9, 10, 10-A and 14 of the constitution of Pakistan. Therefore, the petitioner’s counsel has prayed that the prolonged detention of the petitioner’s husband and the manner of the detention be declared illegal and in contravention of the naval ordinance if naval authorities failed to justify the legality of such a prolonged detention.