The Lahore High Court will on June 19 announce its verdict in the detention case of Mumbai attack mastermind and Jamaat-ud Dawah (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed. A division bench headed by Justice Abdul Sami Khan had reserved the decision on June 7 after the Punjab government law officer submitted a reply and Saeed’s counsel advocate A K Dogar completed his arguments. “The Lahore High Court (LHC) will announce the verdict in Saeed’s detention case on June 19,” a court official told PTI. According to the Punjab government’s reply, Saeed and his aides – Abdullah Ubaid, Malik Zafar Iqbal, Abdul Rehman Abid and Qazi Kashif Hussain – were detained on the instruction of the federal government for their alleged involvement in activities prejudicial to peace and security of the country.
The government had also submitted the report of the judicial review board on the detention of Saeed and his aides. In his arguments, Dogar had said that the government did not produce the petitioners before the judicial review board prior to the expiry of their detention period on April 30 and extended their detention on its own. He argued that extending the detention period without the mandatory approval of the review board was “illegal”. Dogar claimed the government detained the petitioners to “please India and America only”. He said the courts of the country in past had declared detention of the JuD chief illegal as government failed to prove its charges against him. He requested the court to set aside the detention of the petitioners for being unconstitutional.
Earlier, the three-member review board headed by Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan of the Supreme Court had reserved its verdict on the detention of Saeed. Saeed last month had appeared before the review board and told it that he had been detained by the Pakistani government in order to “stop him for raising voice for Kashmiris”. The federal interior ministry rejected his arguments and told the board that “Saeed and his four aides have been detained for spreading terrorism in the name of Jihad”. On April 30, detention of Saeed and his four aides was extended by the Punjab government for another 90 days under Anti-Terrorism Act 1997.
The Punjab government on January 30 had put the five men under house arrest in Lahore under the Second Schedule of Anti-Terrorism Act 1997. The Nawaz Sharif government had reportedly acted against Saeed after the US clearly told Islamabad that in case of not taking action against JuD and Saeed it may face sanctions. JuD is believed to be the front for the banned Lashkar- e-Taiba (LeT). The organisation is accused of involvement in militant activities in India and has already been declared as a foreign terrorist organisation by the US in 2014.