ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court was moved Monday to immediately take custody of US national Raymond Davis arrested for double murder in Lahore and to ensure a fair trial instantly transfer his case to a High Court outside Punjab.
A stay application asked the apex Court to instruct Punjab to stop the criminal proceedings and direct the Registrar of Lahore High Court to submit the record of the murder case including any proceedings in the High Court.
A petition seeking enforcement of the Fundamental Right to “a fair trial” informed the Court that the accused person was not entitled to “equal protection of law” under Article 25 and he could not invoke the jurisdiction of a High Court either to seek “equal protection of law” or “equality before law” in its true Constitutional sense. Petitioner Shahid Orakzai said the person was being prosecuted by Respondent Province with visible political objectives and, at the same time, his trial is being cunningly portrayed as enforcement of “equality before law” in terms of Article 25.
The petitioner asserted that the Court shall disregard “the nationality or status of the person” and simply consider him like “every other person for the time being within Pakistan” as described in Articles 4 & 5. He pointed out that for extraneous causes the person is now being painted as an “enemy alien” in terms of Article 10 than treated as an offender under a law. He was never arrested as an “enemy alien”.
The petitioner said United States was “forgetting the basics of federalism and, in diplomatic trespass, is addressing the Respondent Punjab directly. Perhaps that country is confusing one of its states (Washington) with its Capital in the District of Columbia. Islamabad and Punjab, on the contrary, are not synonymous and Punjab does not have its Foreign Office.”
The petitioner said that External Affairs is the exclusive domain of the Federation which alone could decide implementation of treaties and issues pertaining to extradition, including the surrender of criminals and accused persons to Governments outside Pakistan”.
The petition clarified that it does not seek conviction or acquittal of the person but only “a fair trial”. Both conviction and acquittal carry no weight if the trial is not fair, it emphasized.