ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected a review petition seeking suspension of the Sindh High Court’s acquittal verdict in Daniel Pearl murder case,
A bench of the apex court headed by Justice Umar Ata Bandial while dismissing the petition ordered immediate removal of main accused Ahmed Omer Saeed Shaikh and others from the death cell of the jail.
All detainees in the case should be brought to a general barrack of jail for two days and after it they should be kept at a government rest house, court said in its order.
The family members will be allowed to remain with the detainees from 8:00 in the morning till 5:00 PM, the court ruled.
The bench also approved a plea of the Attorney General seeking time to challenge the Sindh High Court decision by the federal government.
Umar Shaikh and other detainees will not be allowed to use mobile phone or internet during detention, the court said.
The accused should be provided residence for stay in Karachi with family, the court ruled.
Earlier, the Advocate General Sindh sought a restraining order in the case for one week.
“What is the basis for a stay order, it will be wrong to declare a person terrorist without any evidence,” Justice Bandial remarked.
The Supreme Court had deferred release of Daniel Pearl murder accused for a day while hearing review petition of the Sindh government.
On Friday, the Sindh government through its prosecutor general had moved a petition in the apex court, pleading with it to review its decision of acquitting the accused.
Headed by Justice Mushir Alam, a three-judge bench that also comprised Justice Sardar Tariq Masood and Justice Yahya Afridi, ordered that Ahmed Omer Saeed Sheikh, Fahad Naseem, Syed Salman and Sheikh Muhammad Adil be released forthwith, if not required to be detained in connection with any other case. A member of the bench had opposed the decision.
Four convicts of the murder case, British national Ahmed Omer Saeed Shaikh, co-accused Fahad Naseem, Salman Saqib and Sheikh Adil had moved the Sindh High Court (SHC) in 2002 challenging their convictions handed down by the Hyderabad Anti-Terrorism Court after finding them guilty of abducting and killing American Journalist Daniel Pearl.
The high court overturned the verdict of the ATC and acquitted convicts on April 02, 2020. Subsequently, the Sindh government filed an appeal in the SC challenging their acquittal.
The 38-year-old South Asia bureau chief of The Wall Street Journal, Daniel Pearl, was researching for a story on religious extremists in January 2002 in Karachi, when he was abducted and slain.