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ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court will take up a petition against the blocking of roads and highways creating hindrance in the movement of the citizens today (Wednesday).

A three-judge bench, headed by Justice Ijazul Ahsan and comprising Justice Muneeb Akhtar and Justice Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi will hear the Islamabad High Court Bar Association (IHCBA)’s petition.

The IHCBA President, Muhammad Shoaib Shaheen, on Tuesday, filed the petition under Article 184(3) of the Constitution and made the federal secretary Ministry of Interior and the chief secretaries of all the provinces as respondents.

The Supreme Court has been asked to direct the authorities to unblock the roads/ highways and not to create hindrance in the movement of the citizens of Pakistan in any part of the country and also restrain the respondents/ state agencies/institutions, to take any unconstitutional and illegal action or harass the citizens of Pakistan in any manner whatsoever.

The petitioner submitted that the roads and highways are being blocked by different State Institutions/ Executive authorities due to the fact that advocates, citizens, ambulances, and doctors were prevented from reaching their destinations.

The advocates were also stuck on the highways/ roads for a long period and were even unable to approach the apex court, depriving the citizens of their fundamental rights and hindrance in the access to justice.

The IHCBA chief said that the freedom of movement is the fundamental right of every citizen and all the executive authorities, state agencies, state institutions and the governments, both federal and provincial, and the public functionaries are bound to obey the Constitution and exercise their powers within the four corners of the provisions of the Constitution and law.

He stated that the protestors are also bound not to disturb or violate the fundamental rights of other citizens and abide by the provisions of the Constitution and law and not to create a situation of law & order.

The petitioner maintained that it has been reported in the press and the electronic media that the citizens including the advocates, the parliamentarians and suspected protestors, as well as, the workers of one political party are being arrested, harassed without any reasonable and lawful justification and violating the fundamental rights of the citizens, which is illegal, unlawful, contrary to the provisions of the Constitution.

The instant petition has been filed for the protection of the fundamental rights guaranteed under the Constitution, adding the instant matter is of public importance involving the fundamental rights.

He submitted that the apex court has already taken cognizance of a similar issue in the case of a suo moto case no 07/2017 reported as PLD 2019 SC 318, wherein, it gave various observations regarding the matter.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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