Does Section 144 really apply on PTI workers?

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  • Justice Minallah says after NOC from capital administration, Section 144 does not stand for PTI workers
  • IHC summons IslamabadDC along with record on imposition of Section 144

Islamabad High Court (IHC) has summoned Islamabad Deputy Commissioner (DC) Mujahid Sher Dill on Wednesday along with record pertaining to imposition of Section 144 in Islamabad.

A single bench of IHC headed by Justice Athar Minullah took up for hearing Jahangir Tareen versus federation case Tuesday. Sheraz Ranjha, Farrukh Dall and Shaukat Mehmood counsels for the petitioner appeared in the court.

Sheraz Ranjha argued that Pakistan Tehreek-e- Insaf (PTI) had announced to launch peaceful long march to Islamabad and under this announcement long march was started from Lahore to Islamabad by PTI in August. Sit-in was held under the permission from Islamabad administration.

Ranjha told the court that a notification was issued by IslamabadDC on August 7 wherein it was said that more than five persons cannot assemble in Red Zone, Atta Turk Avenue and New Embassy Road etc and Punjab Police is continuing arrests of PTI workers in this respect. PTI held a peaceful protest in Red Zone and no loss to life or property occurred in this protest.

However, Islamabad administration slapped Section 144 to prevent PTI from holding peaceful march. This step is illegal as Section 144 has been slapped on political basis, he contended.

Justice Athar Minullah remarked, “Islamabad administration has given formal permission to PTI for staging sit in and its NOC have been presented in the court. This is imposition of Section 144 that more than five citizens including lawyers can assemble anywhere in Islamabad except PTI workers. Therefore, imposition of Section 144 does not stand.”

Talking to media men outside IHC, PTI Vice Chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi said arrests of PTI workers were being made illegally. Staging protest is fundamental right of every political party. Islamabad administration has imposed Section 144 on the behest of government for political purposes, he alleged.

PTI General Secretary Jahangir Treen said IHC had ordered for removing containers placed illegally by police in Islamabad but these orders have not been implemented so far. PTI will file contempt of court petition against police and Islamabad administration on non compliance of IHC orders, he added.

 

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