ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court has rejected the federal government’s plea seeking to restrain protesters from moving toward the Red Zone area of the capital.
“That is something for the government to handle,” Chief Justice Nasirul Mulk said, while rejecting the attorney general for Pakistan’s (AGP) plea to pass an order stopping protesters of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) from entering the area.
AGP Salman Aslam Butt expressed concerns that the protesters might enter the diplomatic enclave, after they moved close to the area on Sunday.
Meanwhile, a five judge bench of the apex court, headed by the chief justice, sought on Monday a written reply from the federal government over Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) president Kamran Murtaza’s plea seeking a declaration that any extra constitutional steps should be restrained in light of the present situation of the country. The AGP ensured the bench that the government would submit a reply within 24 hours, in this regard.
Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, while referring Article 5 and 6 of the Constitution, observed that the apex court could not allow anyone to deviate from the Constitution, adding that judges are guardians of the Constitution. He also said that every citizen is bound to protect the Constitution under Article 5.
Justice Jawwad S Khawaja said that if any parliamentarian violates his oath, Parliament must take notice over it, adding that the judiciary cannot intervene in every matter.
The SCBA president also informed the bench that he has moved another plea, and had submitted press clippings, regarding PTI chairman Imran Khan’s announcement for civil disobedience.
The chief justice however said that they would take up issue later.
The bench also directed its office to fix the Lahore High Court Bar Association (LHCBA) petition against the ‘Inqilab’ and ‘Azadi’ marches during the next hearing.
The SCBA president also requested the bench to issue notice to the defence secretary to file a reply over his petition. The bench, however, told him that federation is a respondent in his petition. “You may include the defence secretary as a respondent”, the chief justice said.