Lakhvi's detention under MPO extended for 30 days: DC Islamabad

Source:  Dawn.com Published in Justice on Monday, January 19, 2015

ISLAMABAD: Detention of alleged mastermind of the 26/11 Mumbai attacks Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi has been extended for another 30 days under the 16 Maintenance of Public Order (MPO), the Islamabad High Court was told on Monday.

An IHC bench, hearing a plea filed by Lakhvi against his detention under MPO, sought the federal government's reply over the alleged Mumbai attack mastermind's detention.

During the hearing, Deputy Commissioner (DC) Islamabad Mujahid Sher Dil informed the court that Lakhvi's detention had been extended by the government under 16 MPO for another 30 days.

The court adjourned the next hearing on the plea to Jan 26.

Meanwhile, a division bench of the ATC in Islamabad, comprising Justice Noorul Haq N. Qureshi and Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui, resumed the hearing on a plea filed by the government against granting of bail to Lakhvi.

FIA Special Prosecutor Mohammad Azhar Chaudhry told the court that the two countries had demanded the handing over of Lakhvi to India.

Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui replied that this was a diplomatic issue which needs to be addressed by the government.

Chaudhry urged the court to hold hearings against granting of bail on an urgent basis.

Justice Siddiqui replied that if there was urgency, then the case can be forwarded to military courts.

State prosecutor Azhar Chaudhry said that sending cases to military courts was not within his jurisdiction. He added that the interior ministry was responsible for sending cases to military courts.

Giving his observations, Justice Siddiqui said that it appeared that the accused had not received the court summons and hence his counsel was absent from today's hearing.

The court reissued a notice summoning Lakhvi and also instructed Adiala Jail superintendent to ensure that the court summons were received by the accused.

Last month, an anti-terrorism court (ATC) in Islamabad granted bail to Lakhvi. The federal government had, however, detained Lakhvi under the MPO.

On Dec 26, the IHC had suspended the detention and the federal government had challenged the IHC’s order in the Supreme Court.

On Jan 7, the apex court had restored the detention order and had remanded the case back to the IHC with directives to decide the matter after hearing all stakeholders in the case.

In November 2008 Mumbai attacks, 166 people were killed.

The Pakistani government took Lakhvi and some other suspects into custody in February 2009 for ‘facilitating’ the attacks.

Special Investigation Unit (SIU) of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) had registered a First Information Report (FIR) against Lakhvi and six other alleged abettors.

In August 2009, Chaudhry Zulfiqar Ali was appointed special prosecutor in the case. Later, Advocate Mohammad Azhar Chaudhry was also appointed senior prosecutor.

After the murder of Chaudhry Zulfiqar on May 3, 2013, the FIA handed over the job to Abuzar Hasnain Pirzada.

The prosecutors in the Mumbai attacks case were receiving threats which they kept reporting to the concerned quarters, sources said.