- The Islamabad High Court has combined PTI and merchant petitions.
- According to IHC, if highways are closed, trade will cease.
- The case will be heard again in court tomorrow.
On Thursday, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) ruled that no one has the right to stage a sit-in on major national highways (motorways), disrupting both passenger and commercial transit.
Local entrepreneurs petitioned IHC Chief Justice Amir Farooq to hear their case against the PTI protest, which they claimed would paralyze the federal capital.
During the hearing, Justice Farooq stated that anyone who wanted to organize a protest march had the right to do so as long as it did not infringe on ordinary people’s fundamental liberties.
The judge, however, stated that no one has the authority to proclaim a sit-in and subsequently obstruct the highway.
Commuters were experiencing difficulty due to the containers parked on the roadways, according to the petitioner’s counsel.
The Advocate General for Islamabad, Barrister Jahangir Jadoon, indicated that the PTI’s request for a NOC for the sit-in and rally was still outstanding and that it would be appropriate to evaluate both applications concurrently.
The additional attorney general, Munawar Iqbal Duggal, stated that he had written to the ministry of law to get a legal opinion. In such cases, the chief justice of the IHC believes that immediate action should be taken.
Directives should be issued to ensure traffic circulation on highways and motorways, according to the petitioner’s attorney.
CJ Farooq said that because the federation controlled the roads and highways, it could issue orders in this regard. He went on to say that if the highways and motorways were stopped, trade would suffer as well.
He stated that no one had the right to use the freeway.
According to the IHC Chief Justice, Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui’s order in the dharna case mandated that all rallies take place on the parade ground.
“Foreigners also dwell in Islamabad,” Justice Farooq says, “and diplomatic movement is also impeded by these protest rallies.”
The hearing was postponed to tomorrow after the court combined the traders’ petition against anticipated traffic disruptions due to the PTI protest with the party’s request for NOC for the sit-in and demonstration (Friday).
On October 31, the PTI petitioned the IHC for authorization to stage its rally and sit-in, as well as to demand that the government provide marchers with safety.
The petition was filed by PTI leader Ali Nawaz Awan, who emphasized the party’s participation in countless public rallies, seminars, corner meetings, gatherings, and conventions. The PTI was perceived as a peaceful party opposed to disputes with government authorities.
In response to the Supreme Court of Pakistan’s ruling, it requested permission from the court to organize the marchers in the capital city and hold a sit-in on Sri Nagar Highway between the H-9 and G-9 areas, close to the Weekly Bazar (which is under the administrative supervision of the deputy commissioner).