ISLAMABAD (92 News) – The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday disposed of petitions against Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl’s (JUI-F) anti-government ‘Azadi March’ and directed the Islamabad administration to decide on JUI-F’s pleas to hold the march at D-Chowk.
A single-bench presided over by IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah heard petitions against the march and instructed the Islamabad administration todecide on the issue in accordance with the law and the Constitution.
The court disposed petitions against JUI-F’s ‘Azadi March’ and Pakistan Muslim League-N’s (PML-N) participation in the planned anti-government protests.
Justice Minallah reminded them that protecting the fundamental rights of citizens was the job of the state. He said that the state should protect the rights of protesters; additionally, he said, the state was also required to protect the rights of those who do not want to protest.
Justice Minallah recalled that in 2014, the same court had allowed the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) to protest.
Justice Minallah recalled that the high court had also allowed Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) to stage a sit-in in 2014 with the same directives to the local administration to protect the rights of citizens.
During the hearing, the IHC chief justice was irked by the petitioner’s arguments. “Are you representing the government?” he asked. “Because your arguments suggest you are speaking on their behalf.”
The bench then disposed of the petitions.
Earlier, the JUI-F had filed an application with the district administration seeking permission for the Azadi March on Oct 27 and a protest demonstration in Islamabad. The date of the march was then changed to Oct 31.
No sit-in allowed without any permission: IHC
In the previous hearing, Hearing petition against JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman’s
‘Azadi March’, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) clarified that no one can stage a sit-in without permission of administration.
A single bench of the high court comprises of Chief Justice Athar Minallah while hearing the petition directed deputy commissioner of the capital city to maintain law and order.