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LHC orders Punjab govt to decide on Lakhvi’s detention in 5 days

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Thursday ordered the Punjab government to make a decision regarding the detention of Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, main accused in the 2008 Mumbai attacks, within five days.

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Lakhvi filed the petition to seek a direction for the Punjab home secretary to decide his detention matter in the light of an order passed by Islamabad High Court. ─ AFP/File

Lakhvi had submitted an application in the LHC with two pleas — one which challenged his detention and the other regarding contempt of court against the federal and provincial governments. He had adopted the stance that his detention was illegal and in contempt of Islamabad High Court’s (IHC) ruling.

The application also said that the Punjab home secretary should be bound to end his detention.

The petition sought the court’s direction for the Punjab home secretary to decide the matter of Lakhvi’s detention in the light of an order, earlier passed by IHC.

Last week, the judge had dismissed a similar petition of Lakhvi, directing him to file a representation before the Okara district coordination officer (DCO).

The IHC had set aside third-time detention of Lakhvi and ordered the authorities to release him immediately. However, before his release, the Okara DCO on March 14 had issued a fresh detention order against Lakhvi.

Justice Mahmood Maqbool Bajwa presided over today’s hearing and dismissed Lakhvi’s plea regarding contempt of court by the federal and provincial governments.

The court also ordered the Punjab home secretary to make a decision in relation to Lakhvi’s detention in five days’ time.

Lakhvi, a central leader of Jamatud Dawa, is accused of being mastermind of the Mumbai attacks that killed at least 166 people in 2008.

Justice Noorul Haq N Qureshi of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday summoned interior secretary and district coordination officer (DCO) Okara in a contempt of court petition filed by Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi against his 30 days detention orders under maintenance of public order (MPO).

The same bench had set aside his detention on March 13, directing the government “to immediately release the petitioner (Lakhvi), if he is not required in any other case”.

The same day on March 13, DCO Okara had issued his detention orders for further 30 days under the MPO.

Counsel for Lakhvi, Raja Rizwan Abbasi advocate, argued before the court that the IHC bench had declared his client’s detention order by district magistrate Islamabad as illegal. But the DCO Okara issued his detention order which is a contempt of court.

The IHC bench directed the respondents to submit their reply by April 14 and adjourned the hearing.

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