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Supreme Court of Pakistan – File Photo

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court warned again on Monday that it would not tolerate illegal detention of any person, but asked the authorities concerned to deal with delinquents strictly in accordance with the law if they were found involved in any offence against the state or the nation.

A three-judge Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry had taken an application of Omar Mahmood Wali who had been picked up in broad daylight on March 10 in the presence of his family.

At the last hearing, his counsel had alleged that the only crime of 24-year-old Omar was that he was supplying food to demonstrators demanding recovery of missing persons in Islamabad.

On Monday, Islamabad Inspector General Bani Amin Khan informed the court that Omar Mahmood Wali had returned home on March 16 because of the steps taken for his recovery.

He admitted that “agencies had abducted the man”, but when the court asked if he had contacted the Punjab IG, he said he had contacted the Inter-services Intelligence. When asked who was involved in the abduction, he simply said he had contacted all three agencies -- ISI, Military Intelligence and Intelligence Bureau. However, IG Amin said that since an FIR had been registered and the incident was being investigated he was not in a position at this stage to ascertain the involvement of any of the three agencies.

Omar Wali who appeared before the court, along with his father Mahmood Ahmad Khan, also declined to name the abductors.

He only said he was not in a position to identify them. He said he had been interrogated for six days.

The court asked Attorney General Maulvi Anwarul Haq to communicate to all concerned that it was the duty of the state to protect the life and liberty of its citizens.

“Undoubtedly, in the instant case, Omar has been recovered because of police efforts, but the question arises how long such exercise will continue. If involved in any offence against the state or the nation, the culprit deserves no leniency but should be dealt with in terms of Article 10A of the Constitution.

“Under Article 9 of the Constitution, it is the fundamental right of every citizen of Pakistan that he shall not be deprived of life and liberty,” the court said.

The court told the IGP that this was not for the first time; rather time and again this court had been making it clear that without registration of a case, the detention of a person would be illegal. “Therefore, keeping Omar in detention for six days prima facie has no justification,” the court said.