You have to stand guard over the development and maintenance of democracy, social justice and the equality of mankind in your own native soil. [Mohammed Ali Jinnah]

Friday, February 1, 2008

Aitzaz Ahsan finally released

Home Department issues re-arrest order in evening, but withdraws it late at night.

LAHORE: Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) President Aitzaz Ahsan was released late on Thursday night after being put under house arrest in the evening. His 90-day detention order had expired on Thursday.

In the evening, Ahsan came out of his house, which was declared a sub-jail, and sat in his chamber at 6:20pm. However, when he tried to go to the Lahore Press Club, the police personnel deployed outside his house stopped him. He struggled with them and got in a car, but they blocked his way.

The police showed him a copy of his detention order, but Ahsan refused to accept it saying he wanted to see the original document. Meanwhile, dozens of lawyers gathered at the scene. The police brought the original detention order issued by the Home Department at around 10pm, four hours after his previous detention order had expired. He signed the document and wrote his objection on it. He wrote: “This is an extension beyond 90 days.

Hence it is illegal without presentation of the matter before the Review Board constituted under Article 10 of the Constitution. Even the attorney general of Pakistan has declared it illegal on television channels.”

Ahsan also wrote that the order did not mention any reason for the extension, which was contrary to Section-24-A of the General Clauses Act. He stated that the home secretary had passed the order “under the dictation of the federal government”. He added that he had been kept in detention forcibly by the police.

Talking to reporters before his re-arrest, Ahsan criticised the judges who had taken oath under the Provincial Constitution Order (PCO) for keeping quiet at the maltreatment of 60 other judges who had not accepted the PCO. He said sacked chief justice of Pakistan (CJP) was the current CJP’s neighbour and “in illegal detention, but he (the latter) was not taking suo moto notice”.

Source: DailyTimes

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