MUMBAI: Ujjwal Nikam, the special public prosecutor in the 2008 Mumbai terror attack case, today dismissed the detention of top LeT operative Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi by Pakistan authorities as a mere "eyewash".
The 26/11 planner was today detained for three months under Maintenance of Public Order, a day after he was granted bail by an anti-terror court in Islamabad.
Pakistan government could have approached the same court which granted bail to Lakhvi, and sought a stay, or moved the Supreme Court of the country, instead of issuing the detention order, Nikam told PTI here.
"I am not doubting the bonafides of Pakistan in detaining Lakhvi, but I have a reasonable apprehension as to under what circumstances has Pakistan detained him," said Nikam. Nikam said, Lakhvi (54) may challenge the detention order on the ground that only because he had been released on bail by the anti-terror court, the Pakistan government detained him under the stringent public security provisions.
Nikam said there were three questions that the government of Pakistan has to answer.
Firstly, was the Pakistani public prosecutor in the case justified in participating in the ongoing lawyers' boycott of the courts there, as reports here have said.
Secondly, when the Pakistan government knew of the boycott by lawyers, why it did not seek adjournment of the hearing of the bail plea or appoint another public prosecutor to oppose bail of the LeT's operations commander.
Thirdly, Nikam asked, why did the government not seek a stay to the bail order in the same court or moved the apex court.
"This was because primarily the principles for seeking cancellation of bail are stricter than the principles for granting bail and therefore I am constrained to say that the order of detention of Lakhvi is only an eyewash," Nikam added.
The decision to grant bail to Lakhvi has drawn a lot of flak in India, coming as it did after Taliban massacred 148 persons, mostly school children, in Peshawar.