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Pak: 26/11 mastermind Lakhvi to remain in jail

The 2008 Mumbai attack mastermind, Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, will remain in jail after Pakistan's Supreme Court Wednesday overturned the Islamabad high court's order suspending his detention.

world Updated: Jan 07, 2015 23:29 IST
Zaki-ur-Rahman-Lakhvi-the-main-suspect-of-the-Mumbai-terror-attacks-in-2008-raises-his-fist-after-his-court-appearance-in-Islamabad-Pakistan-AP-File-Photo
Zaki-ur-Rahman-Lakhvi-the-main-suspect-of-the-Mumbai-terror-attacks-in-2008-raises-his-fist-after-his-court-appearance-in-Islamabad-Pakistan-AP-File-Photo

The 2008 Mumbai terror attack mastermind, Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, will remain in jail after Pakistan's Supreme Court on Wednesday overturned the Islamabad high court's order suspending his detention under a public security act.

A two-member Supreme Court bench headed by justice Jawwad S Khawaja set aside the Islamabad high court's (IHC) order and admitted the government's appeal against the suspension of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) operational commander Lakhvi's detention.

The apex court also referred the case back to the high court for a "complete hearing" before giving a final decision.

"The IHC seemed to have taken the decision in a hurry. It did not hear the government's arguments in the case. The case is being referred back to the IHC which should conclude hearing after giving an opportunity to the government to give its arguments," Khawaja remarked.

The case will be heard again on Monday next week at the Islamabad high court.

The court also restrained a judicial magistrate from proceeding on the bail application of 54-year-old Lakhvi filed against him in a kidnapping case against till the fresh verdict of the IHC.

In a joint appeal, the secretary interior on behalf of the government, district magistrate Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) and Islamabad senior superintendent of police, had sought the annulment of high court's December 29, 2014 order suspending Lakhvi's detention order under Maintenance of Public Order.

The order suspending his detention orders had angered India, with the external affairs ministry summoning Pakistan high commissioner Abdul Basit and lodging a protest.

Attorney general Salman Aslam Butt argued the IHC order was "not sustainable" in the light of earlier Supreme Court judgements and pointed out that Lakhvi was a member of the proscribed outfit LeT arrested in a terrorism case.

On the other hand, the government has already challenged in IHC the anti-terrorism court Islamabad's decision to grant Lakhvi bail.

On Tuesday, a two-member bench of IHC headed by justice Shaukat Siddiqui took up the government's plea against the trial court's decision to grant Lakhvi bail. It summoned Lakhvi for arguments in the case on next hearing.

Lakhvi is one of seven suspects being tried by Pakistan in connection with the Mumbai attacks, which killed 166 people and seriously damaged relations between longtime rivals Pakistan and India.

India blamed the Pakistan-based militant group LeT for the attack, in which 10 gunmen spent three days spraying bullets and throwing grenades around city landmarks.

Investigators in India have said Lakhvi was the group's military chief and the sole surviving gunman Ajmal Kasab had identified him as the mastermind of the assault. Lakhvi was arrested in Pakistan in 2009 and jailed.