SHC rejects plea to ban Aurat March, slaps fine on petitioner 

Court terms petition an attempt to seek publicity

News Desk March 06, 2023
Citizen's protesting during the Aurat March on March 8, in Karachi.

The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Monday rejected a petition seeking a ban on the Aurat March, a rally to raise awareness on women’s rights set to take place in Karachi on March 8.

According to Express News, the petitioner, Bisma Noreen alias Ameer Jahan, stated that the Aurat March should be banned as slogans raised by the rally participants “are against the values of Pakistani society”.

After hearing initial arguments, the court observed that there was nothing objectionable in the slogans highlighted by the petitioner, adding that the Constitution of Pakistan grants freedom of movement to all citizens.

Rejecting the petition to ban the Aurat March, the court imposed a fine of Rs25,000 on the petitioner. The court also ordered that the petitioner’s national identity card (NIC) be blocked by NADRA in case of non-payment of the fine.

The provincial top court remarked that the petition was an attempt to seek publicity as no substantial argument was presented by the petitioner against the Aurat March. Moreover, the court said the petitioner was not an aggrieved party in the case.

Also read: Plea challenges DC’s refusal to allow Aurat March

The Aurat March was held for the first time in Karachi, Hyderabad, Islamabad, Peshawar, Quetta, and Lahore in 2018 to mark International Women’s Day, a universally celebrated day to raise awareness about women’s rights.

It has since then been organised entirely by citizens working voluntarily, as the Aurat March does not partner with non-governmental organisations (NGOs), political parties, or corporations.

The event gradually evolved into a social movement with women and transgender people from all spheres of life joining hands to work for women and trans rights. Lawyers, doctors, artists, engineers, homemakers, trade union activists and students have all joined the annual event.


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