Court's responsibility is to protect constitution: Supreme Court

Published August 28, 2014
A view of the Supreme Court of Pakistan. — Photo by Online
A view of the Supreme Court of Pakistan. — Photo by Online

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Thursday distanced itself from the politics of sit-ins as a hearing related to protests on Constitution Avenue took place.

During the hearing, Justice Asif Saeed Khosa said that the matter was not about Constitution Avenue, but about the Constitution itself.

When the issue of unconstitutional actions of the protesters was raised, the court distanced itself from the politics of sit-ins and remarked that the court's responsibility is to ensure the protection of the Constitution.

On Wednesday, a SC committee visited the sit-in venue to verify whether the Supreme Court's earlier order to vacate the premises had been implemented. The SC had asked the protesting parties to submit a response for failing to oblige to the court's order.

At the hearing, Hamid Khan, counsel for PTI, said that it was decided that a lane would be left vacated for movement but could not be acted upon.

Counsel for PAT, Ali Zafar, vowed to shoulder the responsibility for ensuring implementation of court's order to vacate the territory, to which the bench replied that Zafar need not shoulder any responsibility.

As suggested by the petitioner, the bench also hinted at the possibility of invoking Article 190 if the protesting parties did not abide by the court's orders.

Article 190 of the Constitution states: "All executive and judicial authorities throughout Pakistan shall act in aid of the Supreme Court." Under article 190, the court can ask any authority — even the military — to help implement its order

Constitution Avenue had been blocked by the protesters of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT), demanding resignation of the current government.

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