LAHORE: Justice Khalid Mehmood Khan of the Lahore High Court on Monday refused to hear a petition challenging the blockage of roads, citing personal reasons.
Justice Khan said that he had watched Dr Tahirul Qadri’s speech on TV and regretted that the people were being provoked. “Though the rights of association and protest are guaranteed to every citizen, we should bear in mind that our existence depends on the existence of the country,” he said.
The judge said that he believed that what had been said in the speech was highly regretful. “I have become prejudiced after hearing the speech and cannot hear the case anymore,” Justice Khan said, referring the case to the LHC chief justice.
On same day, Chief Justice Khawaja Imtiaz Ahmed sent the case to Justice Mahmood Ahmad Bhatti who sent it back requesting the constitution of a larger bench.
Petitioner Hassan Awais said the police had blocked roads in the province to sabotage the Pakistan Awami Tehreek’s Youm-i-Shuhada and the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s Long March.
He said the government was using state machinery and force for that purpose. He said this had led to nuisance for citizens and their fundamental rights had been infringed.
He said the Punjab government was only doing that to gain an upper hand over PAT.
He said blocking roads was illegal, discriminatory, mala fide, and based on ulterior motives.
The petitioner had requested the court to declare the blocking of main roads illegal and to order the removal of containers immediately.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 12th,2014.