Pakistan SC to hear plea against Daniel Pearl murder accused

The Pakistan Supreme Court will hear a petition on February 1 filed by the Sindh government against the recent order to release all the accused persons in the murder case of American journalist Daniel Pearl. The provincial government challenged the Supreme Court’s decision on Thursday, maintaining that the Sindh High Court’s (SHC) order did not contain detailed reasons.

The petition calls on the court to order a stay on the SHC’S December 24, 2020, decision regarding the release of the four convicts, including Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, the key accused. A three-judge bench of the apex court, which delivered Thursday’s verdict, will not hear the plea.

“One of the findings recorded by the SHC short order is that the respondents are not ‘enemy aliens’ within the meaning of Article 10 (9) of the Constitution. Meaning of this term is hitherto judicially unexplained,” maintained Advocate General Sindh Suleman Talibuddin.

The Sindh government maintains that the accused persons fall in the category of ‘enemy aliens’, adding that it has placed proof on record of the SHC, which was rejected. “Now, the Sindh government has requested the bench to pronounce the authorities’ judgment on the law and facts,” reads the order-sheet.

The Advocate General also highlighted that the SHC, in its short order, had also barred the Sindh government from exercising its authority Under Article 10 of the Constitution, adding that the same provision authorizes the government to pass preventive detention of an individual.