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February 13, 2018

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Non-submission of Zafarul Haq report; IHC warns of issuing contempt notices

ISLAMABAD: An Islamabad High Court (IHC) bench has warned federal government if report of Raja Zafarul Haq committee was not submitted before the court till Feb 20, the court would issue contempt notices to all responsible and would also consider issuance of notice to the Chief Executive of the country.

Report of Raja Zafarul Haq Committee was once again not submitted before the IHC as directed on Feb 9, at which Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui in the bench expressed resentment after Deputy Attorney General (DAG) Arshad Mehmood Kiani sought fortnight time for submission of the report.

IHC bench observed that the federal government had already availed itself of sufficient time in playing hide and seek game. Federal government is provided with final opportunity for submission of the report. After which the court would start day-to-day hearing in the petitions. Raja Zafarul Haq committee was formed to probe the issue of amendment to the Election Act 2017 regarding oath of Khatm-e-Nabuwwat (SAW) and to fix the responsibility as well.

IHC bench passed today’s order while hearing into the petitions against Tehreek Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) Faizabad dharna, and also in the petition of Maulana Allah Wasaya who had been contending before the court that an amendment was made in Election Act 2017 (EA-2017) regarding oath of Khatm-e-Nabuwwat (SAW) that was nullified through another amendment whereas all other laws repealed through Act of October 2, 2017 still remained repealed.

Expressing resentment over the non-submission of report, IHC bench in its today’s order noted, “I am constrained to observe that conduct exhibited by the federal government with regard to submission of report is totally uncalled for and irresponsible, as well. I failed to understand why order passed by this court is being frustrated by avoiding submission of report of the committee headed by Senator Raja Zafarul Haq, with Ahsan Iqbal, Interior Minister and Mushahidullah Khan, Senator its members. Now excuse has been advanced that Ahsan Iqbal, Interior Minister is out of country and report has not been finalised. Vide order dated 14.11.2017, federal government was also directed to submit report and parawise comments of the writ petition, but needful has not been done”.

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