SC orders to present detained lawyer

By Adnan Rafique

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Monday directed the federal government to present Advocate Inamur Rahim — a retired colonel who was picked up from his home in Rawalpindi on Dec 17, 2019 — while hearing the government’s plea against a Lahore High Court order calling for Rahim’s release. On Thursday, the LHC’s Rawalpindi bench had declared the detention of Rahim to be illegal and ordered military authorities to release him immediately. The court order had stated: “The detention of Mr Inamur Rahim advocate with military authorities is declared illegal and unlawful. He shall be released forthwith.” Following this, the federal government on Saturday approached the Supreme Court to challenge the ruling. The defence and interior secretaries in an appeal filed through Additional Attorney General Sajid Ilyas Bhatti had sought suspension of the LHC’s release order till the present case was decided by the apex court. Taking up the government’s petition, the top court today rejected the government’s request of in-camera proceedings for the case. Attorney General of Pakistan Anwar Mansoor Khan had argued that the matter in question was related to national security and therefore mandated in-camera proceedings. During the proceedings, Justice Mushir Alam said that the LHC had issued a short order and it seemed that a detailed verdict had not yet been issued, adding that the government should wait for the detailed verdict. In response, the attorney general asked for the short order to be suspended while the SC heard this petition, vowing to present the detained lawyer in court. Later, the attorney general presented a report regarding Rahim’s arrest in a sealed envelope. “Whatever is written in this report has been published. Don’t dramatise things,” responded Justice Alam. The hearing was then briefly adjourned.