Saturday Oct 02 2021

SC's review board extends Saad Rizvi's detention

Supreme Court of Pakistan. — AFP/File
Supreme Court of Pakistan. — AFP/File

  • Decision comes a day after the LHC declared Rizvi's detention illegal.
  • SC's federal review board holds a meeting via video link in Karachi.
  • Board informs additional chief secretary of Punjab's home department about extension in detention.

The federal review board of the Supreme Court on Saturday ordered an extension in the detention of outlawed Tehreek-e-Labbaik (TLP) chief Saad Rizvi, a day after the Lahore High Court (LHC) declared his detention illegal.

The decision was taken after a federal review board meeting was held in Karachi via video link, after which the board informed the additional chief secretary of Punjab's home department of the decision to extend Rizvi's detention, a statement said.

The statement said that Rizvi had been detained at Koth Lakhpath Jail under the anti-terrorism act, and on September 29, Lahore's deputy commissioner had written a letter requesting a review of the matter.

A day earlier, the LHC declared Rizvi's detention illegal after his paternal uncle, Ameer Hussain, had filed a review petition. Justice Tariq Saleem Sheikh, after hearing the arguments of the lawyers, issued a brief verdict declaring his detention unlawful.

Rizvi, the son of the deceased TLP leader Khadim Hussain Rizvi, was taken into custody on April 12 for 90 days for inciting his followers to violence.

Upon the expiry of his 90-day detention on July 2, 2021, he was produced before the review board at the LHC.

During the hearing, the review board rejected the government's request to extend Rizvi's detention for another 90 days under the Maintenance of Public Order (MPO) Ordinance, 1960. However, the deputy commissioner ordered detaining Saad Rizvi once more on July 10 under the Anti-Terrorism Act.

Why was Saad Rizvi arrested?

Rizvi was taken into custody shortly after the federal government had declared the TLP a proscribed organisation under anti-terrorism laws and launched a broad crackdown against the party.

The action came after days of violent protests and traffic disruptions in the largest cities of Pakistan, which saw public and private property being damaged by gangs of hooligans bearing sticks and turning on law enforcement officials at will.

Speaking on the move, Prime Minister Imran Khan had explained that his government had taken action against the banned TLP because it "challenged the writ of the state and used street violence, attacking the public and law enforcers".