Lahore High Court’s (LHC) Justice Ali Baqar Najafi on Monday, while taking up the plea of fashion designer Khadija Shah against her detention under Maintenance of Public Order (MPO), sought reply from the Punjab government.
Shah was re-arrested on Friday after she was granted bail in two cases. The police said that the fashion designer was arrested under MPO. The order noted that she was being detained to “maintain law and order situation” in Lahore, adding that the superintendent of police, Cantt Division, as well as the district intelligence branch made their recommendations.
Read more: Khadija Shah incited people to riot on May 9: Lahore CCPO
It added that Shah had become a “potential danger to public peace and law and order” and that “there exists a genuine concern that she may once again incite the public to partake in destructive and vandalising activities”.
In his petition filed today by Jehanzeb Amin, the spouse of the accused, he contended that his wife Khadija Shah was granted bail in all cases, accusing the Punjab police of detaining her illegally for a period of 30 days.
He implored that earlier LHC had granted bails in two FIRs following the confirmation of CCPO Lahore that his wife was booked in two cases. But as LHC granted her bail in two FIRs, she was arrested in third FIR, he regretted.
Whenever the courts granted her bail, he said that Khadija was implicated in another fresh FIR. Finally, a detention order was issued to detain her for 30 days.
Also read: Fashion designer Khadija Shah’s health ‘deteriorates’ in jail
Her counsel Barrister Sameer Khosa argued before the court that this detention order was a violation of Articles 4 and 9 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan 1973 which guarantee that no person shall be deprived of liberty.
The counsel said that the “malafide intention” of the investigating agencies was evident by the fact that the impugned order was passed on the day the accused was granted post-arrest bail in May 9 riot cases.
The counsel alleged that the prime motive behind this move was to pressurise and harass the accused and keep her behind the bars by any means necessary.
“The pattern of re-arrest and detention of the accused as soon as she secures bail in one case has been apparent from the very first FIR was lodged and is not in accordance with the law,” he asserted.
He argued that the accused was being unjustly deprived of her liberty, a situation alleged to be in violation of Articles 4 and 9 of the Constitution. He asked the court that the order in question should be set aside.
He argued that allegations in the order were unfounded and false, asserting that the detainee was wrongly accused of inciting public disturbances and engaging in criminal behaviour.
He further disputed the claims that the accused was a potential threat to public peace and law and order, suggesting that there was no genuine concern regarding her tendency to incite destructive activities.
He said that the legal scrutiny of the material presented by the respondent, the Lahore Deputy Commissioner, allegedly concluded that further inquiry was necessary leading to his client’s continuous illegal incarceration.
In addition, he asked the court to annul the impugned order under which the accused was being held and to issue directives for her release. Additionally, he also sought action against the police and administration involved in her arrest.
The court was implored to instruct relevant authorities to refrain from removing or transferring the detainee from the jurisdiction of Lahore or from within the jurisdiction of the court.