Friday Mar 06, 2020
ISLAMABAD: Islamabad High Court (IHC) Chief Justice Athar Minallah on Friday asked a petitioner challenging Aurat March posters and slogans to explain how they go against the teachings of Islam, before throwing out their petition for being non-maintainable.
Justice Minallah sought the explanation while hearing arguments regarding the maintainability of a plea challenging the slogans raised by participants of the Aurat March.
During the hearing, the petitioner’s lawyer told the court that they were not against the Aurat March or the demand for women's rights, but were against the slogans and posters being used by the participants.
The lawyer claimed that the posters and slogans were against Islamic teachings. To this, Justice Minallah asked the lawyer what he had brought on record to support his claim.
“Did you see the clarification published today, which was issued [by the organisers] yesterday?” Justice Minallah asked the petitioner.
"They are raising their voice for those rights which are not being given to them," the judge told the petitioner.
“Where did they speak against Islam?” asked the judge.
"Their posters are inscribed with the rights which are given to them under Islam," he argued. He also asked the petitioner whether they could evaluate Aurat March slogans unilaterally.
“The first person to accept Islam was a woman,” Justice Minallah noted during the hearing. "They [the organisers] said in the press conference that they were demanding the rights given to them in Islam."
“When they have clarified their point of view in the press conference, then how can we interpret [their slogans] differently?” asked the judge.
He noted that the press conference had been published in all media outlets.
Justice Minallah also noted that the Aurat March has yet to happen and the petition seems to have been filed prematurely.
At this, the lawyer objected saying that they came to the court to explain their point of view, but the CJ was instead telling them his own.
“See the slogans attached with the petition,” the lawyer requested the court. At this, Justice Minallah told the petitioner that he should take the Aurat March constructively.
He once again asked the petitioner how he could interpret the slogans without giving thought to its context.
After hearing the arguments, Justice Minallah adjourned the hearing and reserved his verdict on the maintainability of the petition.
Early evening, Justice Minallah threw out the petition, deeming it non-maintainable and recording his observations in an eight-page order.