Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui of the Islamabad High Court on Monday continued hearing a case concerning the Faizabad dharna which had considerably disrupted life in the capital city in November last year.
The proceedings revolved mainly around the non-submission of a report authored by a committee headed by Senator Raja Zafarul Haq and comprising Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal and Senator Mushahidullah Khan.
The Raja Zafarul Haq committee report had sought to fix responsibility for the introduction of a controversial amendment to the Khatm-i-Nabuwwat declaration for electoral candidates in the Elections Act, 2017.
The changes to the Khatm-i-Nabuwwat declaration ─ despite being reversed soon after they came to light last year ─ were protested by members of various religious parties, including the Tehreek-i-Labbaik (TLY), which led a sit-in at Islamabad's busy Faizabad Interchange for 22 days in Nov 2017, hindering daily life in the twin cities.
Considerably angered by the federal government's reticence in producing the report, Justice Siddiqui, in a written order, gave the government a last chance to submit the report by February 20, saying the court will hear the case on a daily basis as soon as the government responds.
Once again warning all individuals concerned against non-compliance, the judge said he would issue contempt of court notices and even consider initiating contempt proceedings against the chief executive.
The judge had been told by the Deputy Attorney General, Raja Khalid Mehmood, that the report was yet to be finalised as the interior minister was not in the country, to which Justice Siddiqui had pointed out that he had sought a copy of the report even if the interior minister had not signed off on it.
The defence secretary also presented himself before the court with the ministry's own report on the matter, while the director general of the Intelligence Bureau also submitted a report on a 'viral audio clip' that had emerged after the protest.
"This case concerns the sanctity and finality of Prophethood, and no compromises can be made in this matter," Justice Siddiqui warned before fixing the next hearing on February 20.
A few days ago, Justice Siddiqui had similarly expressed his displeasure over the lack of a follow-up on directives issued to various parties, and had warned that he would serve officials concerned contempt of court notices if they do not comply with orders by today.
The judge had again ordered the defence secretary to submit a report on why army chief Gen Qamar Bajwa's name was used in the agreement.
Justice Siddiqui had also noted that TLY chief Khadim Hussain Rizvi had "maligned the court during the sit-in and spoke against the chief justice", despite which the officials had agreed to their demands and an army general had even signed off on them.
The DG IB was also reprimanded by the court for not presenting his report on audio recordings from the sit-in which went viral on social media.
"The court had asked the IB to find out who is speaking in the audio recordings," Justice Aziz had told the DG IB, who had replied saying that they do not have the necessary equipment to identify the people speaking in the recording.
The judge had then ordered that the DG IB submit a written reply in court, saying why they were unable to process the sound recording.