Chief Justice of Pakistan Saqib Nisar, who was hearing a Suo Motu case on the drying out of the sacred pond in the temple complex, asked, "Do the authorities even have the idols or have they been displaced?"
The matter was taken up by Justice Nisar on the basis of media reports that the Katas Raj pond was drying up because cement factories in the neighbourhood were drawing large amounts of water through borewells thereby severely reducing the sub-soil water level.
The three-member bench headed by Justice Nisar termed the cement factories in the area as destructive and demanded that the names of the factories that are located near the temple be provided to the bench, Dawn reported.
The lawyer representing Evacuee Trust Property Board blamed former chairman Asif Hashmi for the current state of affairs.
"Asif Hashmi earned millions of rupees from corruption (during his tenure) and then ran away (from the country)," the lawyer claimed.
Justice Nisar responded by asking why Hashmi had not been arrested, saying that the court can summon home secretary of Punjab and foreign secretary for answers, the paper said.
The Chief Justice also barred lower courts from hearing any petitions regarding the ongoing case, it added.
The Katas Raj temple is one of the Hindu community's most well-known places of worship. The name 'Katas' is derived from Kataksha, a Sanskrit word meaning 'tearful eyes'.
According to legend, the sacred pond was formed after Lord Shiva wept upon the death of his wife Satti.
(With PTI inputs)