Notices issued to Chaudhrys, Rashid in marches case

LAHORE: A full bench of the Lahore High Court on Friday adjourning petitions against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) marches again issued notices to Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi and Sheikh Rashid Ahmad for September 22.

The full bench comprising Justice Muhammad Khalid Mehmood Khan, Justice Shahid Hameed Dar and Justice Anwaarul Haq was hearing the petitions filed by Muhammad Kamran, the Lawyers Foundation for Justice and others.

As the proceedings started, the petitioner’s counsel AK Dogar submitted that he did not want to press for a application filed for transfer of the venue of PTI and PAT sit ins. To which the bench dismissed the application as being withdrawn. To a court query regarding reply to the petitions the federal and provincial law officers sought time for the purpose.

In response to another query the bench was informed that PTI and PAT counsel were absent whereas no one appeared yet on behalf of Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi and Sheikh Rashid Ahmad despite issuance of notices. Deputy Attorney General (DAG) Waqas Dar submitted that the bench had restrained PTI and PAT from launching Azadi March Inqlab March or holding Dharna at Islamabad in any unconstitutional way but they had gone beyond.

At this stage Justice Muhammad Khalid Mehmood Khan observed that the government had allowed the marches to proceed. What action has been taken to stop them he questioned. The DAG replied that the government had abstained from action on account of possible loss of lives. However, Justice Shahid Hameed Dar observed that the writ of state had to be established at any cost. Petitioner s counsel AK Dogar submitted that he would soon file a contempt petition in this regard.

Advocate Iqbal Jafri submitted that the PTI and PAT had not violated any order and acted as per the Constitution. Justice Khalid observed whether storming of Pakistan Television was not a violation. To which Jafri replied that it had to be proved and also sought permission to file reply.

In response to a question petitioner’s counsel Asad Manzoor Butt replied that the present matter was different from the petitions being heard by the Apex Court.

The bench adjourning the matter until September 22 directed the law officers to file written reply and also issued notices to the respondents.