Supreme Court dismisses Malik Ishaq’s bail review appeal

The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed a review petition seeking cancellation of bail to Malik Mohammad Ishaq, former head of banned organisation Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, who is facing trial in an attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team back in 2009.

A two-member bench of the apex court comprising Justice Asif Saeed Khosa and Justice Tasaddaq Hussain Jilani were holding proceedings at the Lahore registry of the Supreme Court.

The Punjab government moved an application against a bail granted to Malik Ishaq on July 11, 2011 after having spent 14 years in jail since 1997. The bench, conversely, dismissed the petition on Friday.

The division bench of the apex court observed that the bail granted to the accused (Malik Ishaq) was merely on merit and could not be reversed. Friday was the first day of hearing the application and the bench discharged it without issuing a notice to the
responder.

The provincial government of Punjab, through its prosecution department, had submitted to the Supreme Court that while granting a bail to Ishaq had observed ‘there is no permissible lawful proof’ which confirmed his association in the assault.

It further stated that this observation of the apex court could press the trial against the charged person. It prayed before the court to set right its observation by cancelling Malik Ishaq’s bail.

The court, however, instead of accepting the argument of the prosecution department, discharged its application and underscored that the Supreme Court’s annotations would have no authority over the trial court.

The apex court had admitted Ishaq’s bail application which had been earlier discarded by the Lahore High Court (LHC).

After his release on bail, the government put Ishaq under house arrest in the wake of a rise in sectarian violence blamed on the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi.

The detention of Ishaq and his assistant Ghulam Rasool was enhanced by 60 more days on October 25.

Ishaq is charged of plotting the attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team, organizing the events from his jail room. Ishaq stated that the charges against him had not been proven and he justified the respite of bail.

Besides accusations of plotting the attack on Sri Lankan cricket team, Ishaq is also purportedly involved in 44 cases of murder in which 70 people were killed as part of sectarian bloodshed. He has not been found guilty in 34 of those cases while 10 cases
are pending. He is one of the founders of the banned outfit Lashkar-e-Jhangvi.

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