Islamabad: In-camera hearing will be held in Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi's detention case after the High Court here today accepted Pakistan government's plea in this regard on the grounds that “strong evidence” against the Mumbai attack mastermind could not be shared in open proceedings. “The deputy attorney general today informed the Islamabad High Court (IHC) that the government had ‘strong evidence' against Lakhvi which could not be shared in open proceedings,” a court official told PTI after a hearing.
“He requested the court to hold in-camera proceedings so that the government could present the evidence against the accused, justifying its decision to detain him under the Maintenance of Public Order (MPO),” the official said. IHC Judge Noorul Haq Qureshi accepted the government's plea and adjourned the hearing till tomorrow, the official added.
The IHC has taken up the case on the direction of the Supreme Court which earlier had set aside its decision to suspend the government's order to detain Lakhvi under MPO. A two-member Supreme Court bench headed by Justice Jawwad S Khawaja had referred the case back to the IHC for a “complete hearing” before giving a final decision. The apex court had observed that the IHC seemed to have taken the decision in haste as it did not even hear the government's arguments.
On December 18, 2014, an anti-terrorism court granted bail to Lakhvi, who was involved in planning, financing and executing the Mumbai terror attacks in November 2008. The Pakistani government, however, detained him the next day under MPO but IHC Judge Qureshi suspended Lakhvi's detention due to “weak legal ground”.
Just before he was to be released from Adiala Jail Rawalpindi, Lakhvi was arrested on charges of kidnapping an Afghan national named Muhammad Anwar Khan. Last week Lakhvi got bail from a local court of Islamabad in the abduction case.
The government has also challenged the trial court's decision to grant Lakhvi bail in Mumbai terror attack case in the IHC.
A two-member bench headed by Justice Shaukat Siddiqui has summoned Lakhvi for arguments in the case on next hearing. The court has not yet fixed the next date of hearing.
Lakhvi and six others—Abdul Wajid, Mazhar Iqbal, Hamad Amin Sadiq, Shahid Jameel Riaz, Jamil Ahmed and Younis Anjum have been charged with planning and executing the Mumbai attacks in November, 2008 that left 166 people dead. Lakhvi was arrested in December 2008 and was indicted along with the six others on November 25, 2009 in connection with the case. The trial has been underway since 2009.