LHC dismisses petition against TLP, JUI-F chiefs

Says CJP already taken notice of post Oct31 verdict protests


Rana Yasif November 13, 2018
TLP chief Khadim Rizvi. PHOTO: REUTERS

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Monday dismissed a petition seeking high treason proceedings against the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) leader Khadim Hussain Rizvi and the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Fazlur Rehman for delivering speeches against the judiciary and armed forces.

The petitioner, Shabbirullah, had filed a writ petition contending that both the religious leaders were continuously maligning the judiciary and armed forces in the wake of the Supreme Court’s October 31 verdict to acquit a blasphemy accused Aasia Bibi.

He had said the TLP leaders, including Khadim Hussain Rizvi, Pir Afzal Qadri and Waheed Anwar, as well as JUI-F chief had violated Article 6 of the Constitution in the name of protest.

The petitioner requested the court to direct federal government to initiate proceedings against the TLP and JUI leaders under the charges of high treason as “under High Treason (punishment) Act 1973 only federal government is empowered to initiate treason proceedings.”

He had contended that such statements were ‘tantamount to committing offence of high treason.”

However, the LHC judge Atir Mehmood ruled that the petition was not maintainable as the Chief Justice of Pakistan has already taken suo motu notice on the issue. The court said it is the prerogative of federal government to initiate high treason proceedings.

“The petitioner should have approached the appropriate forum,” said the order.

 

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