LAHORE: Lahore High Court Chief Justice Muhammad Ameer Bhatti on Wednesday asked the counsel in a petition against the detention of Hafiz Saad Rizvi, the chief of proscribed Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), to convince the court on the maintainability of the plea since the period of the impugned detention had lapsed.
Earlier, the counsel for the petitioner pointed out that the Supreme Court had remanded the matter to the high court for a fresh decision.
However, the chief justice, who was heading a two-judge bench, observed that the detention period mentioned in the notification under challenge had expired.
The counsel said negotiations between the government and the TLP on the issue of Rizvi’s detention were underway.
Also read: Government ‘mulls’ release of Saad Rizvi
The judge observed that the court had nothing to do with the negotiations and asked the counsel to either withdraw the petition or file a new one.
The counsel sought a two-day time from the court saying the petition could be withdrawn.
The bench adjourned the hearing till Thursday (today) for further arguments on the maintainability of the petition.
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Previously, the government had withdrawn its reference before a federal review board when it failed to justify the detention of Rizvi despite an order passed by the LHC single bench.
The single bench had on Oct 1 set aside the second detention of Rizvi notified by the Punjab government under the Anti-Terrorism Act 1997.
The first detention of Rizvi had come after his organisation (TLP) staged sit-ins across the country during April this year, demanding the government to expel the ambassador of France in the wake of blasphemous cartoons published in a magazine there. The protesters had turned violent and attacked the police personnel.
The government detained Mr Rizvi under the ATA 1997 after his 90-day detention expired on July 10 last.
Published in Dawn, November 4th, 2021