Pakistan government on Tuesday again failed to file a plea challenging the bail to Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, the key planner of 2008 Mumbai attacks, on the last working day for courts ahead of a two-week winter break, citing that the judge has not released the copy of the order.
The prosecution, which was supposed to challenge Islamabad Anti-Terrorism Court's decision to grant bail to Lashkar-e-Taiba operations commander Lakhvi in the high court, could not do so as it failed to get a copy of the ATC's order for the second day.
"The winter holidays of courts mean the government may not file the plea against Lakhvi's bail till January 8," a court official said.
The court, however, may take up cases of "very important nature," he said.
Tuesday was the last working day of the high courts and the apex court. The high courts and the Supreme Court of Pakistan will observe winter holidays till January 8.
The official expressed surprise over the Islamabad anti-terrorism court's "reluctance" to hand over the copy of the bail order to the government while it wasted no time to provide the release order of Lakhvi to the Adiala Jail Rawalpindi administration a day after it granted him bail on December 18.
"We again approached the court to get the copy of the order but we failed to get it because of the unknown reasons. We are utterly surprised over it," Prosecution Chief Chaudhry Azhar said.
"I cannot say with certainty that the government would be able to file the appeal challenging Lakhvi's bail till January 8 as the courts will start observing winter vacation from Wednesday," he said.
ATC Islamabad Judge Kausar Abbas Zaidi on December 18 had granted bail to Lakhvi citing lack of evidence against him, but before he could be released from the jail, the government detained him for three more months under Public Maintenance Order in Adiala Jail where the trial is being held.
The decision to grant bail to Lakhvi, 54, drew sharp criticism from India and surprised many for its timing; just days after Taliban massacred 148 people, mostly school children, in Peshawar.
Lakhvi's lawyer has filed a petition in the High Court in Islamabad challenging a trial court's decision to make the Pakistan Judicial Commission's record a part of evidence in the Mumbai terror attack case.
Lakhvi and six other accused -- Abdul Wajid, Mazhar Iqbal, Hamad Amin Sadiq, Shahid Jameel Riaz, Jamil Ahmed and Younis Anjum -- were allegedly involved in planning and executing the Mumbai attacks on November 26, 2008, that left 166 people dead.