IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah. -Courtesy IHC website

IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah. -Courtesy IHC website
  • Verdict reserved on Asad Umar’s petition.
  • IHC will never interfere in executive matters, says CJ.
  • CJ says there’s a procedure to seek permission for rally.

ISLAMABAD: Islamabad High Court (IHC) Chief Justice Athar Minallah Monday told PTI leader Asad Umar to revoke Section 144 from Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa via their respective assemblies first and then approach this court against the law.

The chief justice made these remarks while hearing the petition challenging Section 144 by the party’s secretary general. The plea was filed last week ahead of PTI’s expected long march towards Islamabad.

In his petition, Umar prayed that Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898 being a reflection of colonial legacy as adopted be declared ultra vires to the express provisions of the Constitution of Pakistan, 1973 as well as the fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

“It is further prayed that issuance of notifications under the garb of provisions of Section 144 of Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898, imposing continuous restrictions of more than two months be declared void ab initio, illegal, unlawful, against the express provisions of Article 4, 8, 10-A, 15, 16 and 17 of the constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, in the interest of justice.”

At the outset of today’s hearing, PTI’s counsel Babar Awan argued that the district magistrate has imposed the section for two months which is against the law.

At this, the CJ inquired the petitioner how his rights are violated. To which, Babar Awan said that a rally can not be brought out in these circumstances.

Justice Minallah said that there’s a procedure that needs to be followed to seek permission for a rally and a judgment has also been issued in this regard. he also asked the counsel if he had read the plea.

“The party has government in two provinces have they never imposed Section 144?” asked the chief justice.

He said that the law and order is an executive matter and the court will never interfere in it.

“Did the PTI government never impose this law during their tenure in Islamabad?”

During an argument, the chief justice reminded that Umar is still an MNA.

“You have governments in Punjab and KP. Go and first repeal this law from the assemblies and then come to this court.”

After the arguments, the IHC reserved the verdict on the maintainability of the plea.

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