LAHORE: Lahore High Court Acting Chief Justice Muhammad Anwaarul Haq ordered the release of 237 Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leaders and workers detained in different police stations. They were arrested for violating the code of conduct of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).
The CJ passed an order on a petition filed by PMLN’s Lawyers Forum President Naseer Ahmed Bhutta, challenging the arrest of PML-N leaders and workers by police officials. The arrests were made when they were moving peacefully to welcome their leader, Nawaz Sharif. An accountability court awarded Nawaz an imprisonment for 10 years and seven years imprisonment to his daughter Maryam Nawaz in a mega corruption case.
On the order of the court, Punjab IGP and Punjab home secretary appeared before the court. The IGP contended the court that arrests were made to avoid any terrorist activity in the city. He said Punjab and particularly Lahore were the main targets of the terrorists. “Steps should be taken for the smooth running of the system without any glitch,” the CJ said.
The Advocate General of Punjab told the court that 141 accused had been arrested under Section 3 of the Maintenance of Public Order while the rest 237 were arrested for violating ECP code of conduct. The CJ expressed his displeasure over the detention of accused persons who had been detained under that offence which is a bailable offence.
The CJ said that the courts are working for the rights of people and to protect the Constitution.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 14th, 2018.