ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Wednesday suspended Islamabad High Court’s (IHC) earlier decision directing the defence ministry and the Capital Development Authority (CDA) to remove barricades in front of the headquarters of an intelligence agency near Aabpara.
A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar and comprising Justice Umar Ata Bandiyal and Justice Ijazul Ahsan began hearing a petition filed by the defence ministry seeking four to six weeks to plan alternate security arrangements for the Inter-Services Intelligence’s headquarters and exemption for director-general ISI to appear in person before the high court.
Although the apex court accepted both requests, it demanded the ISI intimate the date for removal of blockades. Justice Nisar also ordered the authorities to submit a plan outlining the removal.
Citing a previous apex court order directing elimination of road blockades for the entire country, the top judge asserted that “ISI was not an exemption”. He then summoned the country’s top spymaster to tender an explanation for non-compliance of the SC order.
During proceedings, the attorney general informed the court that an alternate road was paved before placement of obstructions. “The CDA had reserved the road in a written allotment order,” he said. The chief justice, however, noted that three months had already passed since the apex court issued the order.
Justice Nisar further remarked that another petition, filed by Advocate Naeem Bukhari, had led to the removal of barricades around Marriot and Serena hotels in Islamabad.
Referring to the case being heard by the IHC, the attorney general said it only pertained to a property in Faizabad. He said the social order was issued after a suo-motu notice. He reiterated the request in the application to allow time for the agency to dwell on it.
Justice Nisar further observed that the discretion for suo-motu did not lie with high courts.