Thursday May 26, 2022
ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Thursday disposed of the federal government's contempt of court plea against PTI Chairman Imran Khan over his violation of the apex court's orders during PTI's 'Azadi March'.
The government had filed the plea this morning after the PTI openly defied the SC's directives, announcing to hold a rally at D-Chowk in Islamabad’s prohibited Red Zone. Accepting the plea, the SC formed a five-member larger bench, headed by Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial, to look into the matter.
The apex court on Wednesday had directed the government to provide the PTI with a ground between the H-9 and G-9 areas of Islamabad to hold its public gathering. The directive came during a hearing of the Islamabad High Court Bar Association’s (IHCBA) plea against the government’s decision to block roads to stop PTI's "Azadi March" in the federal capital.
The court also disposed of IHCBA's plea.
"We will issue the verdict in the case which will serve as an example in the future," CJP remarked.
At the outset of the hearing, Attorney-General of Pakistan Ashtar Ausaf read out the SC verdict before the court.
The top judge observed that the Pakistani citizens have the right to move and assemble anywhere within the country under Article 15, 16 and 17 of the Constitution of Pakistan. He warned the executives against any illegal arrests and raids.
"Don't forget that this party [PTI] has held several rallies."
At this, AGP Ausaf maintained that strict security was provided to all PTI rallies since the dismissal of the party's government.
"Whatever happened yesterday was unfortunate. It shattered SC's trust in political parties,"CJP Bandial remarked adding that the court doesn't want to continue hearing on the case.
He said that the court, "going beyond its authority, had given orders for the security of people [...] directed the political parties to hold negotiations."
During the hearing, the CJP inquired about the number of people injured yesterday.
At this, the AGP informed that 31 police officials were injured.
"Citizens would also have been wounded. The crowd was highly charged," CJP Bandial said, adding that only the PTI leadership could have controlled the situation.
He said that PTI should understand its responsibility toward citizens. The party should have become an example, he added.