LAHORE  -  The Lahore High Court Friday granted bail to 237 workers of PML-N and ordered Punjab police to order all the workers detained unlawfully, making it clear to police not to reflect partiality towards any political party.

Acting Chief Justice Muhammad Anwarul Haq passed the order on petition moved by PML-N Lawyers Forum challenging arrest of party workers took to the streets to see the party’s supremo Nawaz Sharif at Lahore airport.

Punjab Home Secretary, Inspector General of Police and Inspector General of Prisons  were also present there in the courtroom in compliance of the court orders.

Representing the Punjab government, Advocate General of Punjab Imtiaz Rasheed Siddiqui  argued that 141 persons were taken into custody under Section 3 of Maintenance of Public Order (MPO) while 237 others were arrested over charges of violating code of conduct announced by the Election Commission of Pakistan.

 To a court query, IGP Kaleem Imam said arrests were made to deal with the possible threats of terrorism activities in the province. At this, Justice Haq expressed dismay over non-release of the workers of the PML-N in bailable offence.

“The court has to protect the rights of the citizens,” Justice Haq remarked.  The CJ snubbed the IGP that the police should not act to reflect any partiality towards any political party, with directions to the police chief to immediately release the workers taken into custody unlawfully.

The CJ directed the home secretary to decide the representations of 141 other arrested workers on Saturday (today).

The lawyers of the PML-N Forum earlier had argued that the interim government arrested the party workers and detained them illegally. They informed the court that the police also did not disclose any information with them despite their repeated requests to know the whereabouts of the arrested workers.

The lawyers said the police also hurled threats at the families of the PML-N’s arrested workers, with dire consequences in case they approach the court. The workers were arrested without any reason and in blatant disregard of the law, they said.

They prayed to the court to order immediate release of the arrested workers of the PML-N and direct the police not to harass them. 


Fida Hussnain