Lahore, October 11: A Pakistan top court on Wednesday said that 26/11 Mumbai terror attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed’s house arrest will be set aside if the government does not submit evidence against him. The Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief has been under house arrest since January 31.

On Tuesday, the Lahore High Court (LHC) heard a plea against Saeed’s detention. The interior secretary was supposed to appear before the court along with complete record of the case related to his detention along with four others. Also read: Hafiz Saeed Slaps Rs 100 Million Defamation Suit on Pak Minister Who Called Him ‘Darling of US’

As the interior secretary was absent during the proceedings, the court observed that “no citizen can be detained for an extended period on the basis of merely press clippings”. Also read: Saeed, LeT Are a Liability, But Give us Time to Get Rid of Them: Pak Foreign Minister

“The conduct of the government shows it has no substantial evidence against the petitioners. The detention of the petitioners will be set aside if no concrete evidence is presented before the court,” Justice Syed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi said.

An official of the interior ministry told the court that the secretary could not attend the proceedings due to unavoidable official responsibilities in Islamabad. The official was accompanied by a deputy attorney general to the court.

The judge lambastedat the law officers over repeated requesrs for adjournments. The hearing in the case is adjourned till October 13.

Saeed’s advocate A K Dogar argued that the government detained the JuD leaders on the basis of apprehensions and hearsay. He said under the law no presumption and assumption could give rise to any apprehension unless it was supported by evidence.

Saeed and his four aides – Abdullah Ubaid, Malik Zafar Iqbal, Abdul Rehman Abid and Qazi Kashif Hussain – have been placed under house arrest in Lahore under the anti-terrorism act.

The United States had in June 2014 declared the JuD as a foreign terrorist organisation. The US has announced a US $10 million bounty on Saeed’s head for his role in terror activities.

With inputs from PTI