LAHORE - The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Thursday, adjourning hearing of a plea against Aurat March, sought a reply from Punjab government, district administration and police about provision of security to the march.

LHC Chief Justice Mamoon Rashid Sheikh passed the orders while hearing a civil miscellaneous application filed by one Munir Ahmad in a pending petition for regulating social media.

At the outset of proceedings, Federal Investigations Agency Director Abdul Rab and DIG Operations (Lahore) appeared before the court in response to being summoned.

Advocate Hina Jillani also appeared on behalf of Aurat March organisers and submitted an application to become party in the matter.

She argued that the march was being held to highlight the significance of Women’s day.

She submitted that the march would be held on March 8, Sunday, which would not create any hurdle for common masses. However, the petitioner’s counsel Muhammad Azhar Siddique submitted that the application had not been filed for stopping the march.

While referring to posters displayed on previous Aurat March, he requested the court to look into the matter.

But, Hina Jillani questioned the link of the petitioner with the march and asked why he wanted a ban to be imposed on publicity of the march in social media. At this, the court asked police about the arrangements made for the Aurat March.

To which, Hina Jillani submitted that the march was observed peacefully last year and it would be peaceful this year as well.

The court noted that it wanted to know the stance of the government institutions in this regard and sought report about provision of security to the Aurat March.

The court observed that it could not impose a ban on freedom of expression while adding that  no irresponsible statements should also be made on social media. Subsequently, the court adjourned further proceedings till March 3 and sought reply from the petitioner on application of the March organisers to become party in the matter.