LAHORE - The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Monday sought reply from federal and Punjab governments on the arrest of workers of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) with directions to the provincial government for ensuring uninterrupted supply of petrol.
Justice Syed Iftikhar Hussain Shah passed this order while hearing four identical petitions challenging arrest of political workers, shortage of fuel and blocking of roads with shipping containers to prevent protest marches of PAT and PTI. The judge gave 24-hour time to federal and the provincial government to submit reply on the petitions, especially about the arrest of political workers.
The petitions were filed by PTI, Advocate Ghohar Sindhu and Rana Asif which sought court directions to the government for opening of petrol pumps and proper supply of fuel, free movement of political workers and hurdle-free roads for peaceful marches.
The petitioners stated that peaceful protest is the right of every citizen but the government was creating hurdles in this regard. They said that petrol pumps closure and placing of containers on roads was illegal. They requested the court to direct the government for uninterrupted supply of fuel, release of workers and removal of hurdles from the roads.
The judge directed the Lahore DCO to appear in court within half hour but he could not show his presence in the court till the evening. Upon which, the court issued him show cause notice. The judge also gave 24-hour time to both federal and the provincial governments to submit reply against the arrest of PTI and PAT workers. The proceedings adjourned till Tuesday (today).
Earlier, Justice Khalid Mahmood Khan declined hearing of the said petitions for personal reasons and referred the petitions to the chief justice to fix them before any other bench. The judge observed that he heard the speech of Dr Tahirul Qadri and after hearing it he was of the opinion that it was not appropriate for him to hear such petitions.
Later, the petitioner counsel Advocate Ahmad Owais appeared before the single bench comprising Justice Mahmmood Bhatti assuming that the petition of his client Hassan Owan was fixed before him.
As the petitioner counsel appeared before him, the judge observed that probably the case was not fixed before him. However, the judge referred that petition to the chief justice requesting him for constitution of larger bench because of the sensitivity of the matter.