Petition to declare Kasab, Ansari as fugitives in Pak

Petition to declare Kasab, Ansari as fugitives in Pak

Justice Saghir Ahmed Qadri of the Rawalpindi-based bench of the Lahore High Court directed the registrar's office to fix the petition for regular hearing by a division bench within two weeks.

In a twist in the trial of seven Pakistani suspects charged with involvement in the Mumbai attacks, prosecutors made a U-turn on an earlier proposal to drop the legal move to get Kasab, the lone surviving attacker in Mumbai terror strike, and Ansari declared as fugitives.
Ansari was accused of surveying the places to be targeted during 26/11 terror strikes and passing maps to his Pakistani handlers.

Instead, the Federal Investigation Agency decided to pursue the petition filed in the Lahore High Court to challenge an anti-terrorism court's decision not to declare Kasab and Ansari as fugitives.

Legal experts said the move would add to the complexity of the trial of the seven Pakistani suspects, including Lashker-e-Taiba commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, by an anti-terrorism case.

They said proceedings in the anti-terrorism case were unlikely to move forward till the case in the High Court is settled.

The FIA's petition asks the High Court to declare Kasab and Ansari as proclaimed offenders, to issue non-bailable warrants for them and to de-link their case from that of the seven Pakistani suspects.

Kasab has already been sentenced to death by a special court in Mumbai for his role in the attacks that killed 166 people. Ansari was acquitted by the same court but continues to be in custody for other cases.

The FIA contended in its petition that Kasab and Ansari should be declared proclaimed offenders as they were in the custody of Indian authorities and could not be brought to Pakistan