LAHORE: A two-member bench of Lahore High Court hearing the petition filed by JuD chief Hafiz Saeed and four others challenging their house arrest under the anti- terrorism act was today dissolved as one of the judges has been transferred.
In today's hearing, the bench comprising Justice Kazim Raza Shamsi and Justice Chaudhry Mushtaq Ahmad said they would not be able to further hear the case since the new roster of judges has been issued for next week. The bench adjourned the hearing till April 12.
"One of the judges of...the bench has been transferred therefore a new bench will be constituted next week by the chief justice," a court official told PTI, adding it was unprecedented that two bench had been dissolved in less than one month in the case.
Last month, Lahore High Court (LHC) Chief Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah had changed the two-member bench headed by Justice Sardar Muhammad Shamim Khan which was hearing the petition of the Mumbai attack mastermind.
A court official then had declared the change of bench (in Saeed's case) a "routine matter". In the last hearing on March 27, the court had asked the Punjab government to explain its powers to detain Saeed "without a trial".
Referring to an Indian movie wherein Saeed was portrayed as a villain, the judge said the government should see if there is any "international conspiracy" against the Pakistani citizens. A K Dogar, counsel for Saeed, concluded his arguments saying the government had detained the JuD leaders without any justification.
Dogar also questioned the powers of the provincial government to include any citizen in the fourth schedule of the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA). He said such powers were solely vested with the federal government. He said the government had detained him (Saeed) and others to please India and the US.
The government on January 30 had put Saeed and the four leaders of Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) and Falah-e-Insaniat (FIF) under house arrest in Lahore under the country's anti- terrorism act.