Pak. court frees Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi

Suspends detention under MPO due to ‘unsatisfactory evidence’.

Updated - December 13, 2023 02:14 pm IST

Published - April 09, 2015 04:17 pm IST - Lahore

A Pakistani court on Thursday set free Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, the 2008 Mumbai attacks mastermind and LeT operations commander, suspending the Punjab government’s detention order against him under a public security act, drawing India’s ire.

Justice Muhammad Anwarul Haq of Lahore High Court suspended the detention of Lakhvi (55) under Maintenance of Public Order after the government failed to present sensitive records against him in the court.

The judge ordered Lakhvi to submit two surety bonds worth Rs.1 million each for his release.

“The law officer had submitted important information about Lakhvi, but the court did not accept this and declared the evidence unsatisfactory,” an official of LHC told PTI.

Justice Muhammad Anwarul Haq on the last hearing on April 7 had directed the government’s counsel to submit record of secret documents about activities of Lakhvi on Thursday. Lakhvi had challenged the March 14 order of Punjab government’s District Coordination Officer, Okara to detain him for 30 days.

Lakhvi’s counsel Raja Rizwan Abbasi argued that after the LHC’s earlier direction he had filed a representation before the Punjab home secretary against his “illegal” detention but the home secretary dismissed it and upheld the 30-day detention order issued by District Coordination Officer, Okara.

Mr. Abbasi pleaded that a person could not be detained beyond 90 days without obtaining an order from review board and the detention period of his client had gone beyond 90 days. A provincial review board comprises judges of the High Court. He pointed out that though the trial court had released Lakhvi on bail in December 2014, District Magistrate of Islamabad issued detention order against him.

Later, the Islamabad High Court set aside Lakhvi’s detention and ordered the government to release him.

However, another detention order was issued by the DCO, Okara and he was not released, the counsel argued.

He had pleaded the court to strike down the impugned order and order the government to release Lakhvi.

Lakhvi and six others have been charged with planning and executing the Mumbai attacks in November, 2008 that left 166 people dead.

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