ISLAMABAD- The Supreme Court Friday once again cautioned the State functionaries and authorities from taking any extra-constitutional or unconstitutional step by stating it had already passed an order in this regard on August 15.
Chief Justice Nasirul Mulk, heading a five-member bench that heard Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) petition, said: “The 3rd November 2007 order was passed after the Proclamation of Emergency but in the present scenario it already had passed the order [before any misadventure].” The chief justice was responding to the Islamabad District Bar Association (IDBA) counsel’s statement.
Sheikh Ahsan-ud-Din, representing the IDBA, argued that similar situation had emerged on November 2, 2007 and Aitzaz Ahsan had vehemently prayed to the apex court to pass an order to prevent the authorities from taking extra-constitutional measures but the bench hearing petition against General (retd) Pervez Musharraf ignored it and, therefore, Emergency and PCO were issued on 3rd November.
The same bench on August 15 apprehending extra-constitutional measures from some authorities, in view of the PTI and PAT marches, had directed all the State authorities and functionaries to act in accordance with the Constitution and the law enunciated in the SHCBA judgment and refrain from acting in unconstitutional manner.
The PTI submitted its reply, which states: “The PTI believes in rule of law and supremacy of Constitution. It has no intention of doing any unconstitutional or extra-constitutional act. It will not even support any unconstitutional or extra-constitutional act. It will fully abide by the principles laid down in SHCBA judgment.”
Awais informed the court that free movement of people hampered is not due to the PTI rallies but the government had placed containers at various locations in the federal capital to block the roads. Barrister Ali Zafar appeared on behalf of PAT. He said their protest is peaceful, as their prosy have not entered into any buildings or created law and order situation. He said holding protest is their legal right, adding so far they have not taken any unconstitutional step. The court directed him to file PAT reply by tomorrow. The Court though did not pass an order of protesters’ eviction from Constitution Avenue but had expressed grave concern over the impediments, which are creating difficulties for the litigants, SC staff but the lawyers and judges to reach the court.
Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali said for the purpose of maintaining law and order the government should act rationally. He said on Sunday he reached Islamabad from Karachi but because of hindrances he had to walk 1 km to reach his residence in Judges Colony.
Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa asked the PTI counsel that your party position is that you would not take extra-constitutional step for your demands. He further asked him; “If you want to protest then do it without impinging the rights of others. You (PTI) select the place for protest anywhere and not block the Constitution Avenue,” he added.
Athar Shah Bukhari, President LHCBA, Multan Bench, argued that on Friday when he was coming for the case hearing the PTI and PAT protesters, carrying batons, not only stopped him, but also checked his CNIC before allowing him to reach the Court.
He said: “Freedom does not mean to usurp others’ freedom.” The freedom has been given in the Constitution, adding the freedom of a person should not affect the freedom of others.
He requested the court to order the authorities to clear Red Zone.
Attorney General Salman Butt informed that both the parties’ leaders had given in writing that they would not enter Red Zone. The court asked him to get the Constitution Avenue cleared.
Shafqat Chohan, President LHCBA, contended that both the leaders in their speeches had given statements like ‘they would attack the parliament, civil disobedience and asking people not to give taxes’ are against the State. He requested the court to summon the speeches of both the leaders and to see whether these are in accordance with the constitution or not?
Justice Saqib Nisar remarked how the court can stop them from making speeches as the constitution provides them right of expression. However, Justice Jawwad S Khawaja asked him to file the additional application and the documents. He said the court has the power to interpret them whether the speeches of Imran Khan and Tahirul Qadri were lawful or not?
The case is adjourned till Monday (August 25).