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Petitions against police arrests, closure of petrol pumps, cellular services

LHC seeks report on damages caused by sit-ins of PTI, TLP, PAT

The Lahore High Court on Wednesday directed the government authorities to provide detention orders to the PTI leaders and workers on petitions challenging arrests, closure of mobile services, roads and petrol pumps in the province.

Justice Chaudhary Abdul Aziz was hearing the case and sought a detailed report about overall damage caused by the sit-ins of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) and Tehreek-e-Labbaik (TLP). Insaaf Lawyers Forum had filed the petition through Advocate Azhar Siddique and Anees Hashmi and submitted that PTI leader Ejaz Chaudhary was detained by the police. Syed Farhad Tirmazi represented the Punjab government. The law officer told the court that detention orders were issued for 661 workers of PTI.

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At this, the court directed the law officer to provide copies of the detention orders to the petitioners. “Under Article 10-A, provide the detention orders to the petitioners,” Justice Aziz observed. The judge, while addressing the PTI’s lawyer, remarked: “Detention orders of TLP workers were issued by you people [the then PTI government]. The judge asked the PTI’s lawyer to come up with the arguments on Thursday (today) and not on Friday, observing that he had to go to his home in Rawalpindi.”

Justice Aziz observed that “speaker is informed about the arrest of the parliamentarians.”

The PTI lawyer said that Dr. Rashida Khanum was a cancer patient. At this, the judge asked about Dr. Yasmin Rashid. Advocate Azhar said that Dr. Rashida Khanum was put under detention. The judge remarked that emotions of the political parties were always high.

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“If anyone deserves relief he will be given that,” Justice Aziz remarked, observing that the courts had to work under a system. “We decided the number of detention orders issued for TLP workers,” the judge observed. The judge remarked that the courts could stop illegal and unlawful steps but could they stop registration of FIRs. The judge also observed that the law for arresting someone was for those who violated the law and it did not mean that any gentlemen could be arrested.

“What damage was caused during the sit-ins of TLP, PTI and PAT?” asked the judge while addressing the PTI lawyer, who replied, “they prayed just against the detentions.”

Addressing the law officer, the judge also remarked that there was unrest in the country which was not the right way. “These people have reached 70 years of age and they should think about what they are doing,” the judge remarked while indirectly referring to the political leaders. “Such things do not suit them at this stage.” The judge adjourned the hearing for Thursday (today).

In a separate petition against closure of roads on the eve of Punjab Assembly’s sessions, LHC Chief Justice Muhammad Ameer Bhatti asked the petitioner’s lawyer to make IGP party in the case. Advocate Azhar Siddique said that police’s entry into the assembly was inappropriate. At this, the CJ observed that the person who was sitting in the assembly had no objection and if he did not have any problem why he [the petitioner] was raising the objection. The lawyer said MPAs had to be the party in the case but they were not there.

Azhar said that Ejaz Chaudhary was taken into custody. The CJ summoned CCPO Bilal Saeed Kamyana who apprised the court that they did not take him into custody. The petitioner’s lawyer said that Ejaz Chaudhary was released after court notice and said that the IHC had passed an order for release of the leaders and workers against the surety bonds. “What is the problem if the surety bonds are to be deposited?” the CJ asked the PTI’s lawyer, observing that there was a process if any detention was made.

The petitioner’s counsel said that over 150 lawyers were detained by the police from Data Darbar.

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