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January 14, 2021

SHC directs counsel to argue: Whether SC order for non-release of Omer Sheikh still effective

National

January 14, 2021

KARACHI: Sindh High Court (SHC) on Wednesday directed counsel to argue as to whether any interim stay order in Supreme Court with regard to non- release of Ahmed Omer Sheikh and three others in Daniel Pearl murder case is still in field or not.

The direction came on contempt of court application against chief secretary, special home secretary and jail authorities filed by Ahmed Omer Sheikh and others for not releasing them despite court orders.

The SHC on December 24 had struck down preventive detention of British nationality holder Ahmed Omer Saeed Sheikh and three others who were continuously detained for last nine months under anti terrorism law despite their acquittal in US journalist Daniel Pearl kidnapping and murder charges by the appellate court.

Petitioner counsel Nadeem Azar filed contempt of court application on behalf of petitioners submitting that the jail authorities, home secretary and chief secretary deliberately and willfully defied the court orders on December 24 and requested the court to proceed against them under contempt of court proceedings and punished them for defying the court orders. SHC’s division bench headed by Justice Naimatullah Phulpoto took exception over non-appearance of alleged contemnor chief secretary Mumtaz Ali Shah. Additional advocate general submitted that advocate general Sindh was engaged before Supreme Court and sought adjourned on his behalf.

The court directed the counsel to argue as to whether any interim stay order in Supreme Court with regard to non- release of Ahmed Omer Sheikh and three others in Daniel Pearl murder case is still in field or not. The court directed all alleged contemnors to appear before the court and adjourned the hearing till January 20. Advocate General Sindh had earlier submitted that state appeals against acquittal of the petitioners have been pending before the Supreme Court and court had on September 28 had ordered that respondents may not be released and such order is still in field as same has not been expressly recalled.

The court had observed that instant application has been filed against violation of the court orders and court will examine as whether any interim stay order has been issued by the SC with regard to release of petitioners was in field or not.