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LAHORE: The Lahore High Court on Friday directed the Punjab caretaker government to release the leaders and the workers of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) who had volunteered their arrests for ‘jail bharo tehreek’ of their party, if they were not required in any criminal case.

The court also issued notices to the respondents including the government and the police for submission of replies by March 7 in petition of PTI senior vice president Fawad Chaudhry sought release of all leaders, workers of the party.

The petitioner’s counsel argued that hundreds of political workers and leaders were detained by the government and shifted to undisclosed places.

The court asked the counsel what was illegal in the arrests and the detention of the PTI leaders/workers. The court further asked the counsel, “How this petition is maintainable as the party itself launched the jail bharo tehreek”.

The counsel said all the arrested persons were political prisoners and rules were clear in this regard. He said the sole purpose of the movement was to coerce the caretaker government to announce election date as per the Constitution. He said the party had called off its ‘jail bharo tehreek’ since the Supreme Court ordered the election commission to hold the general election in Punjab and KP provinces within 90 days.

A law officer stated that all the persons had been arrested under the Punjab Maintenance of Public Order Ordinance 1960; therefore, they could not be released.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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