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LAHORE: The Lahore High Court on Monday turned down a request of the Punjab home department for a long adjournment in a case regarding detention of Jamatud Dawa (JuD) leaders, directing its counsel to come up with complete arguments on Tuesday (today).

A division bench headed by Justice Kazim Raza Shamsi was hearing the petition of JuD chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, his aides Prof Malik Zafar Iqbal, Abdur Rehman Abid, Qazi Kashif Hussain and Abdullah Ubaid, challenging their detention ordered by the provincial government.

A law officer told the bench that he received information about the hearing few minutes ago. He asked the bench to adjourn the matter for a week so he could prepare his arguments.

However, the bench refused to grant a long adjournment and directed the law officer to come up with arguments on Tuesday. A report submitted on behalf of the department stated that the detention of the petitioners was made under the law.

The petitioners through their counsel had stated that the provincial government, in the light of interior ministry’s order, detained them for a period of 90 days in exercise of powers under section 11-EEE(1) of Anti Terrorism Act 1997. They contended that Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan in a statement said the government was fulfilling its obligations under UN resolutions (by detaining the JuD chief and others).

The petitioners pleaded that the impugned detention orders were issued without jurisdiction. They said the government had no evidence that the detainees were a risk to the security of Pakistan and merely on the basis of the UN resolutions their liberty could not be curtailed.

Published in Dawn, March 21st, 2017