Sindh High Court (SHC) has nullified the notification to imprison Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh (known as Omar Sheikh) and other suspects involved in the Daniel Pearl Murder case. It has issued orders to put all of them on the Exit Control List (ECL) and release them immediately.
According to the high court, there is no legal ground to keep Sheikh and other suspects in custody.
Following the acquittal of Daniel Pearl’s murder suspects in April 2020, the four were kept in police custody on the recommendation of the Government of Sindh, citing public safety factors. This order was first issued on February 4 2020, under which Omar Sheikh, Fahad Nasim Ahmed, Syed Salman Saqib, and Sheikh Muhammad Adil were to remain in custody for three months to prevent “serious law and order situation.”
After the passing of this time period, the suspension was renewed twice. The Sindh High Court declares this unlawful.
The Constitution and the law does not allow the usurption of any citizen’s basic rights, said the court.
“Where does it state that Omar Sheikh belongs to a terrorist organization?” the court demanded. “The notification does not even mention any sensitive institution.”
“How can you keep someone in custody in a democratic society?” Justice Karimuddin Agha asked.
“If you want to keep someone in custody, at least fulfill all requirements,” stressed Justice Amjad Ali Sahito.
A case challenging the judgement of the Sindh High Court, which acquitted the accused in April, is currently ongoing at the Supreme Court. The Sindh High Court’s verdict is being appealed by the Sindh government and by Daniel Pearl’s parents.
The case is to be heard again in court on January 5, 2021.