ISLAMABAD   -   The Registrar of the Supreme Court of Pakistan Thursday returned the petition of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) regarding its long march with objections.

Barrister Ali Zafar filed the petition in the apex court on behalf of PTI Secretary General Asad Umar seeking directions to bar the federal government and other relevant authorities from using coercive measures or intimidating tactics against party activists and leaders, who intended to participate in the long march towards Islamabad. Responding to the PTI’s plea, the registrar said the Supreme Court had already decided on  almost a similar issue vide Constitutional Petition 19/2022.

The registrar, in his note, said the petitioner had not approached any other appropriate forum available under the law for the same relief, and had also not provided any justification for not doing so. Controversial issues were mentioned in paragraphs 4, 5, 12, and 14 of the plea, he added.

The Supreme Court of Pakistan Thursday returned the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) petition to direct the federal and the Punjab governments not to torture or arrest or use any force or coercive measures or intimidating tactics against the its supporters, workers, members and leaders.

After raising objections over the petition, the SC Registrar Office returned the same saying that the applicant has not approached any other appropriate forum available under the law for the same relief and has also not provided any justification for not doing so. It further said, “The instant petition contains scandalous matter in para Nos. 4, 5, 12 & 14, hence attracts Order XVII Rule 5 of the Supreme Court Rules 1980.”

The Registrar Office order said that the petition is not entertainable as the Supreme Court has decided the similar issue vide constitution petition No.19/2022.

PTI Secretary General Asad Umar on 1st June had filed the petition under Article 184(3) of Constitution and cited Secretary Ministry of Interior, Inspector Generals of Police of all the four province and ICT, Home Secretaries of all provinces and Chief Commissioner ICT as respondents.

He prayed to the court to direct the authorities not to create any hindrance or obstacle whatsoever, including blocking access to or from any place or city in any manner (inter alia by putting up containers etc.) or from restricting the movement of the people in any manner and through any means, and also not use violence including force or any strong arm tactics against any citizen, supporter, worker, member or leader of the Petitioner who chooses to participate in the upcoming peaceful Assembly.

Asad Umar submitted that they approached the apex court for definite determination on the relevant questions of public importance, with reference to the enforcement of fundamental rights. He sought the indulgence of Court to conclusively determine the contours and substance of the questions raised in the instant petition.

The petitioner informed that the government is trying to use different illegal tactics to squash and suppress the Petitioner and its party leadership/workers and the people of Pakistan who want to record their peaceful protest in Islamabad and by way of arrest and raiding their homes. In series of these illegal acts/misuse of power Government has hence raided even the residence of the PTI’s Chairman Imran Khan and its workers’ residences and arrested.

He stated that as part of its illegal intimidation process, the government has also illegally arresting number of innocent political leaders, workers, and the PTI supporters, crushing people’s right to assemble peacefully. Furthermore, the government has lodged many fake FIRs against free minded journalists also who aired public sentiments through broadcasting across electronic and digital media, on which this honorable Court has also shown serious concerns for freedom of speech and expression.

Barrister Ali Zafar, who had filed the petition, submitted that the PTI had planned to peacefully hold a large Assemblies on 25.05.2022, across various cities of Pakistan, and to peacefully march towards Islamabad, in order to protest the removal of PTI’s government, and to seek ‘real freedom’. The purpose of the Assemblies was to rally the people of Pakistan, protest and draw attention of the incumbent government towards the public sentiments.