ISLAMABAD: Supreme Court of Pakistan on Thursday barred the government from initiating action against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman and former Prime Minister Imran Khan for leading the marchers to D-Chowk.
A five-member bench of the top court headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial and comprising and comprising Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan, Justice Munib Akhtar, Justice Yahya Afridi and Justice Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi heard the government’s plea for action against Imran Khan.
The incumbent government had sought court’s permission to initiate action against Imran Khan on violating the court’s order and ordering the protesters of reaching D-Chowk.
The government maintained that the protesters caused damage to private and public properties. As the hearing started, Attorney General of Pakistan (AGP) Ashtar Ausaf said the Islamabad High Court bar association had filed a petition for protection of human rights and in light of it, PTI was allowed staging a peaceful protest.
However, he said that Imran Khan misled the protesters by propagating that the top court had permitted them to protest.
The chief justice remarked that they were not conducting the hearing for levelling allegations against anybody, maintaining that the Supreme Court safeguards the Constitution and the order was given because it could see the law being violated.
The chief justice said there could be a possibility that the message delivered to Imran Khan was misinterpreted.
Remarking on what happened following the court’s orders, the chief justice said that it was learned that shelling was done, and some protesters were injured too.
AGP said the government provided security to the PTI rally, but several police personnel were injured due to stone-pelting by protesters, adding that fire brigades and armoured vehicles were torched.
He added that due to such deteriorating law and order situation, the government had to deploy army in the Red Zone for protection of sensitive buildings.
Chief Justice Bandial remarked that the purpose of the court’s order was to induce balance between the parties, adding that PTI organized 33 rallies in a month and all of them were peaceful.
He said that the protesters were on the roads yesterday without a leader and added that the workers could only be controlled by leadership which was not present at that time.
The chief justice expressed hope that the PTI would also realize its responsibilities in the future.
The court rejected government’s plea for action against Imran Khan and also disposed of the bar association’s petition against the blockades of roads.