ISI requests IHC to expunge Justice Siddiqui’s order

ISI requests IHC to expunge Justice Siddiqui’s order

ISLAMABAD: The country’s premier intelligence agency has requested the Islamabad High Court (IHC) to expunge several paragraphs from an order of its judge Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui who last week asked the army chief and the top spymaster to stop meddling in affairs of other departments.

The Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) through the Ministry of Defence secretary and the Federation through the Ministry of Interior on Friday approached the IHC against Justice Siddiqui’s July 18 order.

Deputy Attorney General (DAG) Khawaja Imtiaz Ahmed filed the appeal that said a single-judge bench while hearing a habeas corpus petition unnecessarily dragged the ISI in the controversy.

In a written order pertaining to a missing person’s case, Justice Siddiqui had said abduction of people from different walks of life had become a routine in Islamabad but instead of performing their statutory duty the police came up with a stereotyped stance that persons might have disappeared on their own.

The judge had said such statements were always made in those cases in which allegations were levelled against the intelligence agencies, adding that it was a sorry state of affairs and a challenge to the state. Justice Siddiqui had also claimed that even benches were constituted and cases were marked to different judges on the direction of such elements.

“Everyone knows how proceedings are manipulated, from where strings are pulled and when power wielded and manoeuvred to achieve desired results. To remain like a silent spectator is against the oath made by every judge provided by the Constitution,” he had said.

In the intra-court appeal (ICA), the DAG said Justice Siddiqui’s remarks are “not only unsubstantiated and unfounded but also direct attack/allegation on the appellants, the institution of Pak Army, judiciary” and specifically the IHC’s chief justice and other judges.

He stated that the abducted man did not accuse any law enforcement agency yet the judge made comments in his written order. “The impugned order is based upon mala fide and goes beyond the scope of justice and puts allegation on the appellants in a whimsical manner without substance,” he said.

He said the impugned order was circulated through media and social media and “caused serious damage to the reputation of its premier institutions of armed forces, intelligence agencies and the judiciary.”

He has argued in the appeal that disputed questions of fact cannot be resolved while exercising jurisdiction under Article 199 of the Constitution. The appellants have reproduced the order as well as several paragraphs in the appeal.

The DAG requested the court to set aside relevant paras of the impugned order, declare that no abduction was carried out by any law enforcement agency and respondents’ petition be dismissed with cost.