By Khalid Hussain-
A three member Bench of the Supreme Court (SC) exercises judicial restratint as the Ministry of Defense (MoD) defies Supreme Court orders for the production of Advocate Supreme Court of Pakistan Colonel (Retired) Inam-ur-Rahiem. Earlier, a three member Bench led by Justice Mushir Alam and joined by Justices Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel and Syed mansoor Ali Shah had ordered the production of Col. (R) Inam by 11:30 today. However, when the court resumed hearing, Attorney General pleaded the court to reconsider on grounds of national interest.
It was a tense hearing in two parts that ended with the court adjourning till tomorrow asking the Attorney General to furnish grounds in writing on what national interest is involved while ordering that the detailed advocates of the supreme court “may be produced tomorrow”! The SC Bench was hearing constitutional petition # 68/2020 by the Federation of Pakistan through Secretary Ministry of Defence against the Lahore High Court Rawalpindi Bench order declaring the arrest and detention of Colonel (Retired) Inam-ur-Rahiem known for pleading the cases of missing persons and appearing in many changes seeking to discipline high army officials transgressing law.
President Supreme Court Bar Association Syed Qalb-e-Hassan pleaded on behalf of the detained senior SC Bar Association Member. He said Colonel (R) Inam was a senior member of the bar and his rights must be protected and the Ministry of Defence must not act in violation of law. “His advocate cannot meet him. His family has no access,” he said requesting the court to instruct the MoD to respect the rights of the detained advocate and proceed in accordance with law.
The Lahore High Court Rawalpindi bench had ordered on Thursday the immediate release of Col. (R) Inam-ur-Rahiem and termed his detention by the defence ministry illegal and ordered the ministry of Defencce to release him immediately. Hussain Inam, the son of Colonel (R) Inam-ur-Rahiem, had filed the petition over missing of his father. During the proceedings, a Ministry of Defence officer informed the court they had Col. (R) Inam-ur-Rahiem was in their custody for investigation. The court, while accepting the petition for his release, also directed law enforcement agencies to set the detained lawyer free.
Colonel Inam-ur-Raheem is a former military officer who served in the Judge Branch of the Pakistan Army. He started many a legal challenges seeking disciplinary action against all the three former Chiefs of the Army Stary (COAS) and other senior army officials. His cases had roped in all three former Chiefs from General (Retired) Musharraf to Kayani to Raheel Sharif. Shortly before he was abducted, he was getting set to argue his petition against former COAS General (R) Raheel Sharif and Chairman CPEC Authority Lieutenant General (Retired) Asim Bajwa who was formerly Director General Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR ) for handing over the Angoor Adda Check Post to Afghanistan without any authority and thereby breaching their oath. His writ Petition is listed for hearing next week in the LHC Rawalpindi Bench. Colonel (R) Rahim also found prominent mention in media when he provided the Supreme Court a copy of the Army Act when it was hearing the case against the appointment of COAS General Bajwa. The court had asked the attorney general for a copy of the law but he didn’t share it because he didn’t have at the time after which the lawyer submitted it.
The court showed remarkable restraint in the face of defiance by the Attorney General and adjourned till tomorrow with instructions to inform the court on what grounds of national security is Colonel (R) Rahiem was being detained. The court also diluted its verbal morning orders of production and ordered in writing that he “may be” produced tomorrow.
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