Home Pakistan SC irked over ill-prepared arguments in Khadim Rizvi case

SC irked over ill-prepared arguments in Khadim Rizvi case

Justice Malik asked, “how many individuals’ bail do you want to have canceled.” The additional prosecutor general said that the petition seeks cancellation of bail for Rizi and Ata Mohammad. This irked judges as Mohammad was the complainant of the case and the prosecutor was referring to him as a suspect.

Rizvi

News Desk |

An additional prosecutor general drew the Supreme Court’s ire for being unable to provide the court with proper assistance during the hearing of an appeal of the Punjab government against the Lahore High Court (LHC)’s judgment releasing firebrand cleric Khadim Hussain Rizvi on bail.

A two-member bench of the apex court, comprising Justice Manzoor Ahmed Malik and Justice Qazi Mohammad Amin Ahmed, took up the provincial government’s petition at the Supreme Court Lahore registry.

At the outset, the bench inquired from the Additional Prosecutor General Mazhar Sher Awan what was Rizvi’s main crime. To this, Awan replied that the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) chief had given speeches against the judiciary and provoked people against the state.

Rizvi and Qadri were taken into “protective custody” by the state during a crackdown in November 2018 after the TLP announced it would observe martyrs’ day on Nov 25, 2018.

“These are the facts of the case, speak about the law and tells us Khadim Hussain Rizvi’s crime,” Justice Malik remarked, asking “what is wrong with the high court’s decision to release Khadim Hussain Rizvi on bail.”

Over his inability to properly assist the court, the apex court expressed extreme displeasure. “You don’t know the merits of the case; who drafted it,” Justice Malik asked, adding “how many individuals’ bail do you want to have canceled.” Awan said that the petition seeks cancellation of bail for Rizi and Ata Mohammad.

This, once again, irked judges as Mohammad was the complainant of the case and the additional prosecutor general was referring to him as a suspect. “Have you read the case file,” the bench remarked before issuing a notice to the TLP chief on the Punjab government’s appeal and adjourned proceedings.

Punjab Government Challenges Khadim Rizvi’s Bail

On July 16, the Punjab government challenged the LHC’s decision to grant bail to TLP Chief Khadim Hussain Rizvi before the Supreme Court. TLP chief was booked for launching violent protests against the acquittal of Aasia Bibi last year. He was granted bail in May this year.

Read more: Punjab government challenges Khadim Rizvi’s bail

In the appeal, the provincial government has argued that the high court “did not fulfill legal requirements” in its decision to grant bail. While urging the court to nullify the high court’s decision, the petition said that there was enough evidence against the TLP chief.

Case Background

Rizvi and TLP patron-in-chief Pir Afzal Qadri — who is also nominated in the same case — were granted bail in May this year. Qadri’s bail expired on July 15 but was extended on medical grounds.

Qadri, who had been booked under sedition and terrorism charges, had resigned from the TLP on May 1, citing health issues and, on the court’s earlier directions, issued a public apology for his remarks.

Rizvi and Qadri were taken into “protective custody” by the state during a crackdown in November 2018 after the TLP announced it would observe martyrs’ day on Nov 25, 2018.

Read more: Its all over for Khadim Rizvi: Will he be tried under Art 6?

Civil Lines police had registered the FIR under Sections 290, 291, 353, 427, 186 and 188 of Pakistan Penal Code (PPC), Section 6 of the Sound System Punjab Ordinance 2015 and Section 7 of Anti-Terrorism Act 1997 after the TLP leaders led violent protests against the acquittal of Aasia Bibi in a concocted blasphemy case.

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