In a move that could upset India again, the Lahore High Court has ordered Pakistan government to immediately release 2008 Mumbai terror attacks mastermind Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi.
The Lahore High Court suspended Lakhvi’s detention under Maintenance of Public Order after the government failed to produce satisfactory sensitive records of the former LeT operations commander.
The release order was issued by Justice Muhammad Anwarul Haq of the Lahore High Court two days after he had directed the Punjab government to prepare a record of “secret documents and activities of Lakhvi” and submit it by April 9.
However, the record presented to the court was unsatisfactory, and hence not accepted.
“The law officer had submitted important information about Lakhvi, but the court did not accept this and declared the evidence unsatisfactory,” said an official of LHC.
The judge has ordered Lakhvi to submit two surety bonds worth Rs 1 million each for his release.
Earlier, on April 7, Lakhvi had filed a petition in the Lahore High court challenging his detention.
Lakhvi’s counsel had argued that the former LeT commander can’t be held in detention beyond 90 days without presenting him before the LHC review board.
“A provincial review board (comprising judges of the high court) should be constituted to take up this matter,” Lakhvi’s counsel Raja Rizwan Abbasi said.
Lakhvi’s counsel also told the court that in the light of LHC’s earlier direction he had filed a representation before the Punjab home secretary against Lakhvi’s “illegal” detention but he (the home secretary) dismissed it and upheld the 30-day detention order issued by District Coordination Officer, Okara.
He informed the LHC that the trial court had released his client on bail in December 2014, however, the district magistrate of Islamabad issued his detention order.
Later, the Islamabad High Court had set aside Lakhvi’s detention and ordered the government for his immediate release.
However, he said another detention order was issued by the DCO Okara and Lakhvi was not released, requesting the court to strike down the impugned order and direct the government to release his client.
The Islamabad High Court on March 13 had suspended the government’s detention order for Lakhvi and ordered his immediate release.
The following day the Punjab government (DCO Okara) issued a detention order for Lakhvi for another 30 days under the Maintenance of Public Order, before he could be released by Adiala Jail Rawalpindi authorities.
Lakhvi and six others have been charged with planning and executing the 2008 Mumbai attack that killed 166 people and injured over 300.