SC to hear plea against blockades, crackdowns

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court has fixed a hearing for today (Wednesday) for the Islamabad High Court Bar Association’s (IHCBA) petition against the government’s decision to block roads and raid houses of PTI members ahead of the party’s “Azadi March”.
A three-member bench, headed by Justice Ijaz Ul Ahsan, and comprising Justice Munib Akhtar and Justice Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi, will hear the case.
The IHCBA, in its petition, told the court that the blockage of roads and highways by different state institutions and executive authorities was “preventing” advocates, citizens, including ambulances and doctors, from reaching their destinations.
The association, in its petition, stated that the lawyers were also stuck on the highways and roads for a long period which made them “unable to approach” the Supreme Court, thus, depriving citizens of their fundamental rights and hindering “access to justice”.
“The freedom of movement is the fundamental right of every citizen of Pakistan and all the executive authorities, state agencies, state institutions, and the government and all the provinces and as well as the public functionaries are bound to obey the Constitution and exercise their powers within the four corners of the provisions of the Constitution and law,” read the petition.
The lawyers’ body also cited press reports that stated that lawyers, parliamentarians, and workers of one political party were being arrested and harassed without any reasonable and lawful justification. It stated that the violation of the fundamental rights of the citizens was “illegal, unlawful, and contrary to the provisions of the Constitution”.
The petitioners told the court that their plea has been filed for the “protection of fundamental rights guaranteed under the Constitution”.
The IHCBA has appealed to the apex court to direct the government to “unblock the roads and highways and not to create hindrance in the movements of the citizens”.
It also asked the Supreme court to direct the government to restrain from taking “any unconstitutional and illegal action or harass the citizens”. –Agencies