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LHC questions maintainability of petition against TLP chief’s detention


LAHORE: A two-judge bench of the Lahore High Court questioned the maintainability of a petition against the detention of Saad Rizvi, leader of proscribed Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP).

At the outset of the hearing Wednesday, Saad Rizvi’s counsel pointed out that the government and the TLP had struck a deal and the latter wanted to see the results. Head of the bench Chief Justice Ameer Bhatti, however, said the question was not of compromise but of whether the petition was admissible. Justice Tariq Saleem, another member of the bench, remarked that under the notification which was challenged, the period of detention had expired. In such a case, how is this application admissible? Justice Sheikh said the matter regarding deal between government and TLP, was not in the court. The bench remarked that the courts decide the cases on the legal point. The court granted one-day time at the request of Rizvi’s lawyer and directed him to give arguments on the legal point that when the detention order was not effective and then how could the petition against it be heard. The counsel for the petitioner sought time for arguments on the admissibility of the petition and at the same time offered to withdraw the petition if he could not satisfy the court on the legal point.

The Supreme Court had on an appeal of the government suspended the operation of the LHC single bench’s order and remanded the case for a fresh decision by a division bench. Previously, the government had withdrawn its reference before a federal review board when it failed to justify the detention of Saad Rizvi despite an order passed by the LHC’s single bench. The single bench had on October 1 set aside the second detention of Rizvi notified by the Punjab government under the Anti-Terrorism Act 1997.

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