ISLAMABAD: A relative of Saad Hussain Rizvi, the chief of Tehrik-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), approached the Supreme Court for his release on Wednesday.
Saad Rizvi, son of the late Allama Khadim Hussain Rizvi, was arrested on April 12 over allegations that he had incited his followers to take law into their own hands as, according to him, the government had gone back on its promise to expel the French ambassador.
The petition, filed by Ameer Hussain, the uncle of Saad Rizvi, seeks overturning of the Lahore High Court’s (LHC) May 24 decision to dismiss his previous plea.
Ameer Hussain said that despite repeated attempts, neither was Saad Rizvi nor the petitioner informed about reasons for detaining the accused. The authorities did not even show the detention order, violating the Punjab Maintenance of Public Ordinance 1960.
The petitioner contended the Punjab home secretary, the deputy commissioner of Lahore, the capital city police officer of Lahore, the superintendent of Kot Lakhpat jail and the SHO of Nawan Kot police station were violating Saad Rizvi’s fundamental rights.
According to Ameer Hussain, the deputy commissioner assured him that his nephew would be released ‘soon’ when he met him after his detention.
“Feeling aggrieved over the unlawful and unconstitutional detention, I filed a writ petition with the LHC, but it was rejected on May 24,” the petitioner said.
He argued that the LHC judge did not take into consideration the legal requirement of showing justification for a detention order.
“No document was produced before the court to show that Saad Rizvi was involved in any activity prejudicial to the public safety and maintenance of public order.”
The detention of Saad Rizvi, the petitioner claimed, was based merely on a call for protest given by the TLP after a meeting on April 11. And the subsequent order of extending the detention was based on apprehensions, Ameer Hussain observed.
He called upon the apex court to set aside the detention order since TLP workers had not taken to the streets to press for the release of their leader.
The LHC single judge in chambers, while rejecting the writ petition, had wrongly placed the liability for the law and order situation after April 12 on Saad Rizvi, the petitioner said. “The court ignored the fact that Saad Rizvi was in the custody of law enforcement agencies at that time and that nobody had a chance to visit him in jail.”
The petition regretted that the LHC single judge in chambers relied on a one-sided report which held the detained person responsible for casualties and damage, but ignored the “killing of 26 people in Lahore by police on the pretext of dispersing protesters”.
Ameer Hussain was represented by his counsel, Burhan Moazzam Malik.
Published in Dawn, July 1st, 2021