Police ordered to decide application for holding Aurat March

LAHORE:The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Tuesday directed police to decide application for permission of holding

Aurat March in accordance with the law.

LHC Chief Justice Mamoon Rashid Sheikh passed the orders while disposing of two civil miscellaneous applications, one each pro and against Aurat March, to be held on March 8, filed in a pending petition for regulating social media.

At the start of proceedings, a report was submitted on behalf of DIG (Operations) Lahore, stating that foolproof security would be provided to Aurat March, in accordance with previous court directions.

The court was apprised that different groups had approached deputy commissioner Lahore and police for determining a proper code of conduct for granting permission to Aurat March. However, the organizers have expressed their inability for giving any undertaking on behalf of the participants of the march, during a meeting of district intelligence committee, it added.

It was also submitted that police hold meetings with different social groups who expressed reservations over holding of Aurat March without any proper code of conduct.

The report further stated that, in order to ensure smooth conduct of the march, it was essential that organizers of Aurat March adhere to a proper code of conduct which prohibit all participants from engaging in any controversial acts.

A counsel on behalf of the march organizers argued before the court that the organizers were ready to submit a guarantee that no step would be taken against constitution and law. He further submitted that Aurat March was termed as anti-state which was a serious allegation.

However, petitioner’s counsel Muhammad Azhar Siddique argued that the application was not filed for stopping the march but the same should be observed within limits of law and constitution. He pointed out various placards displayed during the previous march.

At this, the chief justice observed that it was responsibility of the organizers that no immoral slogans should be raised during the march as it was against norms. Since the applicant did not have any objection over holding of the Aurat Matrch, hence, the organizers should also hold the march within limits of law and constitution and it should be ensured that no immoral slogans should be raised, it added.

Subsequently, the court disposing of applications ordered police to decide the application, submitted by march organizers for permission of holding the march, in accordance with law.

The petitioner,Munir Ahmad, had filed the application seeking directions for regulating Aurat March and ensuring reasonable restrictions as per fundamental rights, whereas Aurat March organizers had approached the court for becoming a party in the matter.