ISLAMABAD - Islamabad High Court will hear today (Monday) two identical petitions moved against the protest at Faizabad wherein legal action has been sought against the protesters.

A single bench of the IHC comprising Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui will hear the petitions . The bench has already issued contempt of court notice to Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal for not obeying court’s orders regarding removal of protestors sitting at the Faizabad Interchange.

The court had also summoned the interior minister to appear before the court in person on the next hearing to be held today.

During the hearing, Justice Siddiqui enquired from the Chief Commissioner Islamabad Zulfiqar Haider that why the court’s orders were not executed. Haider submitted that Iqbal had stopped the ICT Administration from acting upon the orders of the court as negotiations were underway with the activists of Tehreek-e-Labbaik Ya Rasool Allah (TLYR).

In this regard, Justice Siddiqui noted in his verdict, “It is beyond understanding that how the federal minister or even the prime minister can sit over an order passed by the court of competent jurisdiction, unless not reversed by the appellate court. This clearly is an effort to undermine the authority of the court and blatant act of contempt”.

Therefore, he added, “Let show-cause notice be issued to Ashan Iqbal to explain that under which authority of law, he stopped the ICT Administration from acting upon the order passed by this court and why contempt of court proceedings may not be initiated against him”.

The bench maintained in the judgment that the minister was directed to appear in person on the next date. The court had also termed the sit-in as “anti-state activity” and said that calling the judges of superior judiciary and other respectable persons with names was intolerable.

“Leadership of Dharna, prima facie, is involved in act of terrorism, therefore; all institutions of the state are expected to act in unison. It is made clear that faith of Khatm-e-Nabuwwat is of every Muslim and few persons cannot be allowed to claim exclusive right for its protection,” read the verdict.

The IHC bench had also directed the registrar office to fix the two petitions of Maulana Allah Wasaya and the TLYR on November 27, instead of November 29. In the two petitions , the petitioners have pleaded to the court to direct the respondents to publicise the report of a committee headed by Senator Raja Zafar-ul-Haq. The committee was constituted to fix responsibility of amending the oath regarding Khatm-e-Nabuwwat in the election laws.

Earlier, the two petitions were fixed for hearing on November 29 but the IHC bench in its today’s order noted that due to sensitivity of the situation, the petitions be fixed two days earlier. The bench has directed the registrar office to issue notices to the respondents and counsels for November 27.

Justice Siddiqui also directed secretary ministry of interior to ensure production of Raja Zafar-ul-Haq committee report before the court. The bench has directed that the report shall not be made public till next hearing but the persons at whom responsibility has been pasted shall remain within Pakistan.

The IHC bench observed, “There is serious need for our sensitive institutions to dispel the impression that activity at Faizabad interchange is sponsored by intelligence agencies, therefore; sector commander of ISI and DG Intelligence Bureau are directed to appear in person on the next date”.

Chief Commissioner ICT submitted before the court that all practical efforts shall be made to enforce the writ of the state as it is requirement of the law.

The bench said that in order to protect the rights of six million citizens of the twin cities, all lawful steps be taken to clear the Faizabad interchange. The ICT chief commissioner further submitted that this was totally incorrect perception that the ICT administration lacked capacity and will to perform its duties related to law and order.

However, the judgment said, “It is made clear that force deputed by the ICT Administration shall not use fire arms during clearance operation, if required to be conducted.”