ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) on Monday directed the federal government to formally explain the “connection” between the case involving the detention of Lt Col (r) Inamur Rahim — who was picked up from his home in Rawalpindi by law enforcement agencies in December last year — and national security.
The court directive came as the top court took up the federal government’s petition against the Lahore High Court’s (LHC) order calling for Rahim’s release.
As the hearing started on Monday, the apex court directed the government to present the detained lawyer in the courtroom. To which Attorney General of Pakistan Anwar Masood Khan requested that the court review the order to present Rahim and also requested that the case be heard inside the judges’ chambers as the case “relates to national security”.
“We have no objections but show us the matter on the basis of which we should do this. Show us the documents, we will not make them public,” said Justice Mushir Alam, adding that the bench wanted to go through the documents to understand which national security issue this case was related to.
At the outset of the proceedings, the top court had rejected the government’s request for in-camera proceedings for the case. AG Khan had argued that the matter in question was related to national security and therefore mandated in-camera proceedings.
Resuming proceedings after a break, the apex court directed the federal government to submit a written reply and ordered that the detained lawyer be presented in court on Tuesday.
“We all know what matter of national security it is. Rahim had presented copies of the Army Act in court,” alleged Supreme Court Bar Association Qalbe Hussain while addressing the judges.
Justice 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 proceedings were adjourned till Tuesday.
Last week, LHC’s Rawalpindi bench termed the detention of Rahim — who is a petitioner in multiple cases of allegedly missing persons — against the law and ordered 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 apex court to challenge the ruling.
The defense 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.