Lahore: A Pakistani court on Monday dismissed a petition filed by Lashkar-e-Taiba commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, a key accused in the Mumbai attacks case, seeking the
transfer of his trial from Rawalpindi to Lahore.

Lahore High Court Chief Justice Ijaz Ahmad Chaudhry, who had earlier reserved his decision in the matter, dismissed the petition and observed that the matter falls under the territorial jurisdiction of the Islamabad High Court.

Chaudhry said Lakhvi should approach the Islamabad High Court for the purpose.

Lakhvi, in the petition filed through his counsel Khwaja Sultan, had sought the transfer of his trial in an anti-terrorism court in Rawalpindi to Lahore on the grounds that he did not have confidence in the judge.

He had claimed that the judge was being influenced by the government and the Interior Ministry.

The petition further contended that the federal government had "influenced" the anti-terrorism court to allow the formation of a commission to go to India to record the statements of witnesses to the Mumbai attacks and to cross-examine Ajmal Kasab, the lone surviving attacker.

The proposal to form the commission was opposed by the lawyers defending the seven Pakistani nationals, including Lakhvi, charged with planning, financing and facilitating the
2008 attacks that killed 166 people in Mumbai.

A law officer representing the federal government had opposed the contentions raised by Lakhvi in his petition.

After hearing arguments by both sides, Chief Justice Ijaz Ahmad Chaudhry had reserved his verdict on October 17.

The judge announced his verdict in open court on Monday.

The trial of the seven suspects was delayed for several weeks as the judge of the anti-terrorism court said he could not proceed with the case till the Lahore High Court ruled on
Lakhvi's petition.

(Agencies)