LAHORE - The Lahore High Court on Thursday gave time to the Punjab government to legislate for banning protests on The Mall.

A full bench, headed by Justice Aminuddin Khan, passed the order, with directives to the government to come up with detailed reply on May 29. A law officer who was representing the government told the bench that the area from Mian Mir bridge to Instanbul roundabout was declared as the red zone.

To a court query, the law officer said that the legislation process had been started and a draft had also been prepared. He pleaded the bench to give more time for legislation on the issue.  The bench accepted the plea of the government and allowed it more time to do the legislation.

The petitioners had argued that the regular sit-ins and protests on the Mall Road had been causing great problems to the citizens as well to the traders. They submitted that the protests, rallies and sit-ins on the prohibited area had never been stopped by the government despite the clear order of the court.

They said last year a suicide attack also took place at Charring Cross which claimed many lives and left several others seriously injured.  The government, they said, had completely failed to enforce the order and to stop the protesters from holding protests at this site.

Court concerned at use of abusive language by leaders

A Lahore High Court full bench on Thursday expressed concern over the abusive language used against the judiciary by leaders of PML-N in Kasur.

A three-member bench headed by Justice Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi regretted the anti-judiciary speeches by the PML-N’s local parliamentarians from Kasur.

Advocate Azhar Siddique, who was representing the petitioners against Hussain, said  that a vedio surfaced and went viral on social media, showing the leaders of the ruling party abusing judges of the superior courts in Kasur. He said the police lodged a case against the MPs and others but they did not include appropriate sections of the law in the FIR against the abusers.

The counsel  said that he also wrote a letter to the Inspector General Police, Punjab,  requesting him to add relevant sections in the FIR against the political leaders.

The bench, however, avoided further discussion on the issue and observed tha it was not yet before it so. “We'll look into  it as this matter appears before them,”  the bench observed.  The bench also expressed satisfaction over a report submited by  a federal law officer in compliance of court's order regarding ban on speeches and activities of MQM London Cheif.

Advocate Aftab Virk and others had moved the petitions against the MQM founding leader seeking action against him under treason charges for his speeches against state institutions including the army and rangers. The court adjourned further hearing till May 10.

On April 03, the Lahore High Court directed Punjab government to do legislation about protests’ on The Mall to protect the freedom of movement and assembly of the people.

The judge directed the provincial government to make law keeping in view Articles 15 and 16 of the Constitution which guaranteed freedom of peaceful movement and assembly.

Justice Shahid Jamil Khan, a member of the bench, however, expressed serious concerns over closure of the main road of the city, observing that why Mall Road was blocked from the Governor House whenever the protests took place at Faisal Chowk—Charring Cross.

In 2016, the Lahore High Court took suo moto notice of the rallies on The Mall and asked Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif to explain why this practice was going on though the court barred such demos on November 2, 2011.