The Lahore High Court on Thursday disposed of an appeal seeking directives for the Punjab government to release Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) Chief Hafiz Saad Rizvi after a lawyer representing him requested to withdraw it.
An LHC division bench headed by Chief Justice Muhammad Ameer Bhatti passed the order. Justice Tariq Saleem Sheikh was the other member of the bench.
As proceedings commenced, Advocate Burhan Muazzam Malik, the counsel for appellant Ameer Hussain, said that they wanted to withdraw the appeal as it became infructuous and therefore should be disposed of.
At this, the bench led by Chief Justice Ameer Bhatti disposed of the plea for being infructuous. A day before, the counsel for the appellant had submitted that they had signed an agreement with the government and they needed more time.
“My client (Hafiz Saad Rizvi) wants adjournment of the case due to ongoing talks between his group and the PTI government,” said Mian Pervaiz, the counsel for the appellant, as he appeared before the bench.
At this, Chief Justice Bhatti observed that hearing of the case had nothing to do with the accord between both sides as their petition regarding Saad Rizvi’s detention is about the maintainability of the appeal questioning the government’s act of keeping him under detention.
“The notification that was questioned by the TLP has already expired, so how could it be expected that the hearing of the case will continue,” the CJ observed.
“Fresh order for detention of Hafiz Saad Rizvi should have been challenged,” remarked Justice Tariq Saleem Sheikh, the other member of the bench.
The CJ also remarked, “the high court has nothing to do with the accord but with the maintainability of the plea.”
The court had given one day to the appellant and sought more arguments on the subject matter for Thursday (today).
Ameer Hussain, the uncle of TLP Chief Hafiz Saad Rizvi, had challenged detention of his nephew, submitting that keeping Saad under detention was a clear violation of the court orders. The appellant said that the government had implicated Rizvi in 14 criminal cases after detaining him. The LHC had ordered his immediate release while the review had also turned down the Punjab government’s reference seeking extension in detention of Hafiz Saad Rizvi.
The appellant also said that Saad Rizvi was innocent and had nothing to do with the cases registered against him. He asked the court to order the Punjab government for immediate release of his nephew.
An LHC single bench comprising Justice Tariq Saleem Sheikh on Oct 1, 2021, had ordered the Punjab government to immediately release Hafiz Saad Rizvi and held that his detention was totally against the law. However, the provincial government challenged the order of his release.
The plea for adjournment came at a moment when the Punjab government decided to withdraw an appeal against Hafiz Saad Rizvi and released 860 workers detained in the wake of protests and the long march to Islamabad during the last two weeks.