ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court on Wednesday observed that though the Islamabad police had registered an FIR regarding displaying of banners in the Red Zone of federal capital against the judge of apex court, yet no sincere efforts were made to nab those behind this campaign.

A three-member bench headed by Justice Jawwad S. Khawaja and comprised Justice Gulzar Ahmed and Justice Iqbal Hameedur Rahman heard the placing of banners and posters in Red Zone of Islamabad. The bench observed that two accused were arrested on 27.05.2014. However, Muhammad Rashid, main accused in the case, though was identified more than one month ago but was arrested only last night.

“We have repeatedly expressed our concern that the police have been less than diligent in this case. We note that FIR No.234/14 was lodged by Azhar Mehmood, sub inspector, at Aabpara Police Station, on 27.05.2014. But the police file shows extreme lack of diligence in investigating the case and bringing the culprits to book.”

The Inspector General of Police, Islamabad appearing the before the court said that he was not in a position to explain as to why diligent effort in the case had not been made by the police. However, he conceded that there had been incompetence in the investigation.

The court directed him to submit a report within seven days explaining about reasons behind incompetence and inform whether disciplinary action, if any, was taken against those who have been incompetent. The court observed that might be an attempt has been made to cover-up/protect the accused. “Explanation should also comment on this aspect of the case,” the court further ordered the IGP. After examining the police file, the court noted that there have been long periods when no action at all appears to have been taken in the investigation of the case. On the court inquiry the IGP also conceded that he had not seen all daily reports of police. “This also reflects a sorry state of affairs within the police,” Justice Jawwad said. He stated that the persons, who were involved in displaying of banners and the posters could as easily have come in the same way and escaped undetected after planting 22 bombs or explosive devices instead of banners. “This must be a cause of concern to the citizens of Pakistan,” said the court.

Sheikh Ahsan-ud-Din and Taufeeq Asif, former presidents of Lahore High Court Bar Association, Rawalpindi bench, pointed out that if the main accused Muhammad Rashid had been arrested more than a month ago then the it could lead to those who were behind the anti-state activity.

Taufeeq Asif further said that although he had passed on this information earlier, he would be happy to record his statement with the police even today or tomorrow.

Yaqoob Butt, the brother of Shafiq Butt, one of the accused, present in the court stated that his brother is in judicial custody. He requested the court to direct the police to record his statement at the earliest.

The case is adjourned till 8th July.