ISLAMABAD - A division bench of the Islamabad High Court on Thursday disposed of a petition of the defence ministry seeking to expunge some remarks of Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui against a premier intelligence agency in a missing person’s case.

The IHC dual bench comprising Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb took up the plea filed by the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) through the defence ministry seeking to expunge certain remarks from the order sheet issued by IHC judge Siddiqui.

The court disposed of the petition after accepting the same.

During the hearing, Advocate General (AG) Islamabad Tariq Mahmood Jehangiri contended before the court that the IHC registrar office had clarified that there was no pressure on the judiciary regarding the formation of benches.

Similarly, he argued that IHC Chief Justice Justice Muhammad Anwar Khan Kasi had also rebuffed all the allegations in this connection.

The ISI through the defence secretary moved the appeal against Justice Siddiqui’s order issued on July 18.

Assistant Attorney General Khawaja Mohammad Imtiaz, who had filed the appeal, adopted that the single-member bench, while hearing a habeas corpus petition, unnecessarily dragged the premier intelligence agency into the controversy.

In the said written order pertaining to a missing person’s case, Justice Siddiqui had said that the 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 person(s) might have disappeared on their own. The judge had said that such statements were always made in those cases in which allegations were leveled against 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 marked to different judges on the direction of such elements.

 “Everyone knows how proceedings are manipulated, from where strings are pulled and when the power is wielded and manoeuvered 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 that Justice Siddiqui’s remarks were “not only unsubstantiated and unfounded but also a direct attack/allegation on the appellants — the institutions of Pakistan Army and the judiciary” and specifically the IHC’s chief justice and other judges.

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

The DAG contended that the impugned order was circulated through the mainstream media and social media and “caused serious damage to the reputation of the premier institutions of armed forces, intelligence agencies and the judiciary.”

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

The DAG had 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 the respondents’ petition be dismissed with cost.After the arguments, the plea was disposed of and the impunged remarks will be expunged from the single bench order.