LAHORE: The Punjab government on Monday approached the Supreme Court, challenging a decision of the Lahore High Court (LHC) whereby detention of Hafiz Saad Rizvi, the leader of proscribed Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), was set aside.

Justice Tariq Saleem Sheikh of the LHC had on Oct 1 allowed a petition of Mr Rizvi’s uncle and declared the detention of the TLP leader unlawful.

The appeal filed through additional chief secretary home said the impugned decision passed by the LHC was a classic case of excess of jurisdiction as the court usurped the authority vested in and meant for the executive.

It said the decision in question was a case of misdirection in law since the court ruled in a conjectural manner that there was no new material for detention under section 11EEE of the Anti-terrorism Act, 1997.

The appeal argued that the LHC single bench failed to appreciate the basis for judicial review that was to interpret and further the intent of parliament as obtained in the statute. It said the government had fulfilled all the requirements of the law as envisaged in the section 11EEE but the high court allowed judicial review, which was tantamount to questioning and adding to express intent of the parliament.

The government argued that the chief minister was required to bring every matter to the cabinet. It said the “ex post facto” approval of the detention notification issued by the deputy commissioner did not require an approval by the cabinet.

The appeal also referred to reports of the law enforcement agencies that suggest that in the prevailing security environment release of the TLP leader would encourage intolerant and radicalised elements.

The reports further said the death anniversary of Maulana Khadim Hussain Rizvi, was falling on Nov 19 and presence of Saad Rizvi on the event would aggravate the law and order situation.

The government asked the apex court to allow its appeal and set aside the decision passed by the LHC.

A two-judge bench comprising Justice Ijazul Ahsan and Justice Sayyed Mazajar Ali Akbar would hear the government’s appeal at the Lahore registry on Tuesday (today).

HABEAS CORPUS PLEA: Justice Tariq Saleem Sheikh of the Lahore High Court on Monday directed Capital City Police Officer Ghulam Mahmood Dogar to not delay the process of furnishing surety bonds by TLP leader Saad Rizvi and submit a compliance report on Tuesday (today).

Earlier, the CCPO appeared before the court on a short notice during the hearing of a habeas corpus petition against the continuation of the detention of Mr Rizvi despite a court order.

Rizvi’s uncle Ameer Hussain filed the petition pleading that the court had on Oct 1 set aside the detention of the TLP leader and directed the government to release him if not required in any case.

The petitioner’s counsel argued that the government, instead of releasing Rizvi, got his detention extended through a federal review board. However, the government had later withdrawn its application after the board learnt about the LHC decision.

He said the act of the government was contempt of the court and the detention of Rizvi was illegal.

The detention had come after Mr Rizvi’s organisation (TLP) staged sit-ins across the country demanding the government to expel the ambassador of France in the wake of publication of blasphemous cartoons. The protesters had turned violent and attacked and taken hostage police personnel.

Published in Dawn, October 12th, 2021

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