A division bench of the Lahore High Court on Wednesday issued notice to the Punjab Home Department on a petition challenging the detention of Lashkar-e-Taiba founder Hafiz Saeed.
Headed by Justice Sardar Muhammad Shamim, the court’s division bench, while directing the Home Department to submit its response by March 7, sought material against the petitioners to justify their detention.
The court’s notice was issued a day after the JuD chief and his four aides moved the LHC, challenging their house arrests and being added to the Fourth Schedule of the Anti-Terrorism Act.
The JuD also challenged the Interior Ministry putting the names of 37 of its leaders on the Exit Control List (ECL). Saeed’s detention came following Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan’s remarks that the government was taking steps to fulfil its international obligations regarding JuD.
On January 31, the provincial government of Punjab had placed JuD chief Saeed, who carries a boumty of $10 million on his head, and four other party leaders under house arrest after a letter was issued by the Interior Ministry. He is also proscribed by the UN Security Council.
India has accused the JuD chief of masterminding the 2008 Mumbai attacks, which brought Islamabad and New Delhi to the brink of a war. At least 166 people, including foreign tourists, were killed by 10 armed men who went on a rampage that included attacks on two luxury hotels, a Jewish centre, and a train station.
Saeed has repeatedly denied the allegations and has distanced himself from the Lashkar-e-Taiba, a banned militant group in Pakistan that India blames for the incident. Saeed was put under house arrest soon after the Mumbai attacks but was released on court orders in June 2009.