ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court will announce its judgment on a suo motu case regarding Faizabad sit-in on February 6. The sit-in was staged by Tehreek-e-Labbaik Ya Rasool Allah (TLYR) under the leadership of Khadim Hussain Rizvi who is already in the police custody.

The religious faction had announced its countrywide protests leading to Faizabad sit-in after the previous Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz-led Federal government amended clause of oath and undertaking regarding finality of Holy Prophet (PBUH) while introducing the Election Act 2017.

The sit-in of TLYR was prolonged for more than 3 weeks causing immense sufferings to the residents of twin cities. The twin cities came to standstill after which the top court assuming its suo motu jurisdiction took cognizance of the matter and initiated proceedings.

The judgment on the suo motu was reserved on November 22 last year.

Notices have been issued to Attorney General for Pakistan, Inspector General of Police Islamabad, Secretaries of Interior and Defense Ministries and Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and Pakistan Electronic Media and Regulatory Authority (PEMRA).

According to the legal experts, the judgment will cover different issues including TLYR’s political party registration, sit-in, roles of government, intelligence agency, media regulator.

Legal experts believe that the judgment in the case will have consequences on the politics of TLP, a political wing of TLYR, which emerged as a prominent political party in last two years especially in Punjab by securing more than 2.231 million votes in General Election 2018.

The reason, they state, is that the two-judge Bench headed by Justice Mushir Alam and comprising Justice Qazi Faez Isa had asked the ECP to submit its reply on the status of the party which, according to Bench’s observations, disagrees with the Constitution. 

Few legal experts are eying on dissolution of TLP as Political Party pursuant to Section 212 of the Elections Act, 2017 by top court’s directions for making declaration to the effect that TLP is operating in a manner prejudicial to the sovereignty and integrity of Pakistan and is indulging in terrorism.

The ECP was also directed in October last year to place the detailed chronology of registration of TLYR as political party with the Commission and inquiry into its funding.

The ECP had submitted revealing that the TLP participated in General Election 2018 but had not submitted money trail for campaign, adding, that TLP’s Central Amir Hafiz Khadim Hussain Rizvi while applying for allocation of his party symbol had submitted a certificate of accounts maintained by the party with JS Bank.

The Bench was also informed that the TLP’s registration took place in the name of a Dubai-based person.

However, the Bench termed the reply of ECP as eye-wash.

Besides ECP, the Bench had asked the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) to submit its detailed report on sit-in.

The intelligence apparatus had given detailed report regarding background of TLYR’s top tier and their monetary support. The ISI in its subsequent replies had also contended that leadership of TLYR may be summoned.

The Bench had, however, taken exception to the failure of ISI for not providing tax details of leaders of TLYR.

Justice Isa had observed that the court wanted to set parameters for future. The Bench had also sought written reply of ISI on its mandate which was submitted in a sealed envelope.

The Bench while reserving its judgment had directed the Federal government to submit its stance on ISI’s mandate. Sources confirmed that the Federal government has submitted the reply in a sealed envelope. 

The TLP’s head Rizvi and other leaders, including Afzal Qadri, Pir Ejaz Ashrafi, Farooqul Hasan, Shafqat Jamil and Waheed Noor were taken into protective custody on November 23 last year in a massive crackdown in the backdrop of violent protests on top court’s judgment acquitting Christian woman Aasia Bibi of blasphemy charges.

Both Rizvi and Qadri allegedly scandalised and ridiculed not only top court but also military as well as PTI-led Federal government.

During three days of violent protests, central leadership of TLP vociferously spitted venom against the judges of top court and military chief.

TLP did not even shy away from inciting bodyguards and personal servants of the Judges and the Army Chief to take law into their own hands.

More alarming was the provocation on part of TLP leadership calling upon members of the Armed forces to stage mutiny against their commanders.

It is pertinent to mention here that another petition against leadership of TLYR and registration of TLP as a political party is pending adjudication before the top court.

The petition was filed by Barrister Masroor Shah stating therein that the acts and deeds of TLP and its leadership allegedly constitute offences of Sedition, Criminal Intimidation, Rioting, Terrorism and Incitement to commit mutiny. “Besides, TLP also indulges in spreading hatred against a particular group of citizens professing a different faith vis-à-vis other Muslims.”

In order to brush the problem under the carpet, cosmetic arrests of a few people have nevertheless been made but the real masterminds and the political party that pre-orchestrated the entire mayhem, incited people to assassinate holders of top Constitutional offices, stage mutiny and attempted to prejudice sovereignty and integrity of the country has deliberately been left untouched, the petition stated. It is further submitted that a political party professing violence, riots and incitement is liable to be dissolved.