ISLAMABAD - Islamabad High Court (IHC) Thursday expressed its displeasure when Interior Ministry informed the court that a 2005 model bulletproof vehicle had been provided to the former chief justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice (Retd) Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry for three months.
Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui directed the ministry to submit details of all the bulletproof cars in the use of the former presidents, prime ministers, federal and state ministers and other former officials till January 15. Justice Siddiqui further directed to provide details of the squad and security personals deputed for the security of all the aforementioned people.
Expressing his annoyance, the judge issued these directions after interior ministry submitted a notification before the IHC single bench according to which former CJP Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry was provided with a 2005 model bulletproof car for three months. As per notification, former CJP will be bearing the maintenance cost of the vehicle and vehicle is provided for official use only.
At that instance, Justice Siddiqui remarked that what ministry means by 'official use' while he is retired. He further remarked that Justice Chaudhry is an asset for the nation and he protected and safeguarded the constitution. The ministry should take the matter seriously as the former CJP faces serious life threats.
Justice Siddiqui said that previously the former CJP was provided with a 1991 model out of order vehicle that was taken to his residence by toe-chain method. Ironically there is one president of a political party who has been provided with the security of hundreds of armed personals, he further said.
On the last hearing on January 03, the single bench had directed the respondents to provide bulletproof car to the former CJP and also deputed adequate security at his residence till January 08, 2014.
The judge had observed, "If the former CJP may not be provided with the bulletproof car, all the bulletproof cars from other government functionaries will also be taken back."
It is pertinent to mention here that a single bench of IHC bench is hearing the petition seeking provision of security to the former CJP that was filed by the former President Lahore High Court Bar Association (LHCBA) Sheikh Ahsan-ud-Din Advocate.