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SC imposes fine on Pak govt over Saeed case

October 22, 2009 16:08 IST

Pakistan's Supreme Court, which is hearing petitions against the release from house arrest of Jamat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed, on Thursday imposed a fine of Rs 10,000 each on the federal and Punjab governments, for delaying the case with their 'non-cooperative attitude'. Saeed, the founder of terror outfit Lashkar-e-Tayiba, has been accused by India of masterminding the terror attack on Mumbai.  

An apex court bench, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry, also adjourned the matter for a month. During today's hearing, the bench initially adjourned the proceedings, after it was informed that the Punjab government's counsel was preoccupied with another case.

Later, the apex court adjourned the matter for a month after imposing the fine of Rs 10,000 each on the federal and Punjab governments, for delaying the case and their 'non-cooperative attitude'.

Saeed was placed under house arrest in December last year, after the United Nations Security Council declared the JuD a terrorist group. He was freed on the orders of the Lahore High Court on June 2.

Subsequently, the federal and Punjab governments filed two petitions in the Supreme Court, challenging the high court's order.

The case floundered after the Punjab government sought to withdraw its petition and the province's Advocate General Raza Farooq resigned from his post in August.

On August 3, the Supreme Court had adjourned the hearing of the two petitions for an unspecified period. Sources said the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz -led government in Punjab is apparently not keen on pursuing the case against Saeed as it believes there is no evidence linking him to terrorist activities.

Interior Minister Rehman Malik said on Wednesday that Pakistani authorities would not act against Saeed on the 'dictation' of India. He said action could not be taken against the JuD chief due to the absence of sufficient evidence.

Rezaul H Laskar In Islamabad
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