SC suspends IHC order to remove barricades in front of ISI HQ

SC suspends IHC order to remove barricades in front of ISI HQ

Islamabad (Staff Report): The Supreme Court (SC) on Wednesday suspended Islamabad High Court’s (IHC) verdict that orders premier spy agency Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) to remove security barricades and encroachment from a busy road in front of its headquarters in Islamabad.

A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar and comprising Justice Umar Ata Bandiyal and Justice Ijazul Ahsan resumed hearing a petition filed by the defence ministry seeking four to six weeks to plan alternate security arrangements for the ISI’s headquarters and exemption for director-general ISI to appear in person before the high court.

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.

On June 22, IHC Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui had issued directions to clear the portion of Khayaban-i-Suharwardy in a week.

Later, a division bench of the IHC dismissed an intra court appeal (ICA) filed by the defence ministry against an interim order, directing the counsel either to raise his submission before the same bench or challenge it before the top court.