26/11 Mumbai terror attacks: Pakistan Govt fails to challenge Lakhvi's bail order

Islamabad: Pakistan Government on Monday failed to file a plea challenging the bail to Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi even as the key planner of 2008 Mumbai attack filed a petition in the High Court here against a court's decision to make a judicial panel's record a part of evidence in the 26/11 case.

The prosecution, which was supposed to challenge Islamabad Anti-Terrorism Court's decision to grant bail to Lakhvi in the High Court, could not do so as it failed to get a copy of the ATC's order.

Mumbai attacks accused Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi

"We are facing problems in getting the ATC's order copy. I cannot say whether we will be able to file the appeal tomorrow as it is subject to getting the court's order. After going through the court's order we need time to prepare the petition," Prosecution Chief Chaudhry Azhar saids.

ATC Islamabad Judge Kausar Abbas Zaidi on December 18 had granted bail to Lakhvi citing lack of evidence against him, but before he could be released from the jail, the government detained him for three more months under Public Maintenance Order in Adiala Jail where the trial is being held.

The decision to grant bail to Lakhvi, 54, drew sharp criticism from India and surprised many for its timing, just days after Taliban massacred 148 people, mostly schoolchildren, in Peshawar.

Lakhvi's lawyer on the other hand filed a petition in the High Court here challenging a trial court's decision to make the Pakistan Judicial Commission's record a part of evidence in the Mumbai terror attack case.

"We have challenged the trial court's decision in the Islamabad High Court to make the Pakistan Judicial Commission's record a part of evidence in the case," Lakhvi's counsel Raja Rizwan Abbasi said.

The Islamabad High Court has constituted a two-member bench comprising Justice Athar Minallah and Justice Noorullah to hear Lakhvi's petition.

"The court office will fix the date of the hearing of the case," Abbasi said.

The Pakistani Judicial Commission had visited India twice for the cross examination of witnesses there. The prosecution had prepared the commission's report which Lakhvi objected, saying "it cannot be made a part of the evidence in the case."

Lakhvi and six other accused - Abdul Wajid, Mazhar Iqbal, Hamad Amin Sadiq, Shahid Jameel Riaz, Jamil Ahmed and Younis Anjum - were allegedly involved in planning and executing the Mumbai attacks on November 26, 2008 that left 166 people dead.

The trial has been underway since 2009.


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