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ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court was informed Monday that release of the persons allegedly involved in kidnapping and murder of Daniel Pearl would have serious global implications for Pakistan.

Attorney General for Pakistan Khalid Jawed Khan pleaded, “It [release of the accused] will have global implication for Pakistan,” adding: “There will be serious consequence for it.”

He submitted that the impugned judgment had interpreted constitutional provisions in particular Article 10 of the Constitution.

In such a case, law is clear that notice to the Attorney General must be issued under Order XXVII-A CPC.

A three-judge bench of the apex court, headed by Justice Mushir Alam, on January 28, with a 2-1 majority decision, dismissed the appeals of the Sindh government and Daniel Pearl’s parents and ordered to release the accused — Ahmed Omer Shaikh, Fahad Nasim Ahmed, Syed Salman Saqib, and Shaikh Muhammad Adil.

Justice Umar Ata Bandil, heading a three-judge bench, questioned how a citizen without recourse could be detained indefinitely.

The bench that comprised Justice Bandial, Justice Sajjad Ali Shah, and Justice Muneeb Akhtar on Monday heard the Sindh government’s request to grant stay against the Sindh High Court (SHC)’s order to release Omer Sheikh and others.

Advocate General for Sindh Salman Talibud Din, representing the Sindh government, said a very important question is involved in this case i.e. can an “enemy alien” have fundamental rights.

He requested the bench to ask the SHC to deliver the detailed judgment after hearing the federation and the provincial government afresh.

He further requested the bench to maintain status quo on its previous order as Umer Ahmed Sheikh’s counsel was moving an application in the SHC for their release. Defence Counsel Abdul Rauf Sheikh argued that the last preventive detention order passed by the Sindh government on September 29, 2020 has also lapsed besides that his clients have been kept in custody.

Justice Bandial said they want to find out how the authorities keep the accused behind the bars.

Maintaining the status quo for one more day, the bench directed the AG Sindh to file the complete order-sheet, and if the SHC has delivered the detailed reasoning then submit it as on today (Tuesday).

The Attorney General for Pakistan’s office on 30-01-2021 in a statement said that the federal government will shortly file appropriate applications before the Supreme Court to be allowed to join as party and further seek review and recall of the order/judgment of acquittal passed in the appeals filed by the Sindh government.

“The federal government shall file an application for the constitution of the larger bench of the Supreme Court to hear the review petitions. It further stated that the federal government in cooperation with the provincial government shall continue to undertake all legal steps to bring perpetrators of this heinous crime to justice in accordance with laws of Pakistan,” said the statement.

The bench on January 28, 2021 though had granted leave to appeal, but declined to suspend the SHC order.

The SHC on 24th December, 2020, passed an order to release the accused in view of judgment dated April 2, 2020.

However, the Sindh government challenged that order through Advocate General Salman Talibud Din and contended that the accused are “Enemy Alien”.

He had submitted one of the findings of the SHC’s order is that the respondents (accused) are not “Enemy Alien” under the Maintenance of Public Order read with Article 10 of the Constitution.

The apex court in its January 25 noted that [Enemy Alien] hitherto unexplored term and issue of first impression.

It had asked the Sindh government to place material before the SHC for justification regarding their claim.

The AG Sindh further submitted before the apex court that the SHC order has barred the provincial government from exercising power which the authorities have under Article 10 of Constitution except with the permission of the High Court.

“As a result, the Sindh government has been divested of the power given to the executive under the Constitution,” noted the SC order.

He told the court that Umer cannot be allowed to engage something against Pakistan on the direction of the enemy country.

He further informed that according to intelligence reports, in 2016 his [Umer] accomplices tried to break the jail in order to liberate him.

He further told that a SIM which had UK number was recovered from Umer Sheikh in the jail, adding, with that number, he remained in contact with the terrorists.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021


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