High Court, on Sunday, ruled Galolhu South MP Ahmed Mahloof’s arrest during February’s state of emergency as unconstitutional.
The MP was arrested on February 22nd for distributing masks as protection against tear gas during the February protests and was charged with obstruction of justice.
The High Court deemed the arrest unlawful after the lawmaker filed for appeal. The court ruled the MP’s arrest as unconstitutional stating that it was in conflict with the Parliamentary Privileges Act.
The Parliamentary Privilege Act, section 3(b), states that "a member of parliament should not be arrested while on his way to execute his parliamentary duties or while inside the premises of the parliament or while on his way from the parliament. However, the section does not obstruct arresting a member of parliament who is found committing a crime and the due legal process involving the arrest. In the event that an MP is to be arrested under different conditions, then the arrest must be warranted by an arrest order from the Prosecutor General (PG)".
The state had charged MP Mahloof stating that he was arrested while committing an illegal action.
However, the evidence brought forward in the case revealed that the parliamentarian was not committing a crime at the time of arrest, due to which the three levied charges were unlawful.
Judge Ali Sameer, Judge Abdul Ghafoor Ibrahim, and Chief Judge Sujau Usman has presided over the case and the case was chaired by Judge Sameer.
Mahloof was also charged with terrorism but the case was denied by the court .