QUETTA - A Balochistan High Court division bench has declared that President, Prime Minister, Federal Ministers, Ministers of State, Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly, Chairman and Deputy Chairman of the Senate, Advisers, Governors, Chief Ministers, Provincial Ministers, Speakers and Deputy Speakers of the Provincial Assemblies could not hoist party flags on their offices, official vehicles and official residences.
The bench, headed by Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa, ordered, “If the flag of any political party is found to be hoisted or flying on the official office, vehicle or residence of any such person in Balochistan, the same to be removed forthwith.”
The court passed this order on a constitutional petition filed by some renowned lawyers of Balochistan, including Hadi Shakil Ahmed, Zahoor Ahmed Shawani, Syed Ayaz Zahoor, Syed Nazir Agha and Sajid Taree Advocate.
The petitioners had drawn the attention of the court towards incident which had taken place this year at the main gate of Balochistan Assembly after police denied allowing the personal guards of Provincial Minister Nawab Sanaullah Zehri to enter into the premises. Following the incident, the Balochistan chief minister had suspended the police officer who had not allowed the personal armed guards of the minister.
Announcing the judgment Wednesday, the court declared Balochistan Assembly Privileges Act, 1975 forbids carrying of any firearms within the precincts, therefore, the police personnel who stopped the armed guards into assembly premises acted in accordance with said law and they cannot be punished for doing.
The bench further observed that the Motor Vehicle Ordinance, 1965 and rules made there under do not permit the fixing of police lights and police wireless sets in private vehicles, and if anyone does so he is liable to prosecution in accordance with the applicable law.
“Smuggled vehicles, on which customs duty and other applicable taxes have not been paid, are liable to be impounded in accordance with the applicable laws,” the court observed.
The court said the law enforcement personnel must be cooperated with while carrying out their duties and must not be prevented from discharging their duties.
The bench said whenever law enforcement personnel are carrying weapons openly, it is incumbent upon them to be identifiable and in complete uniform. “Section 83-A of the Representation of People Act, 1976 does not permit hoisting of political party flags at any public place,” the court added. The court further said in case of violation, the local authority within whose jurisdiction the same has taken place would remove the flags and report the matter to the police station concerned or Levies Thana, and prosecution against the transgressors be carried out in accordance with the law.