PTI files petition for review of SC's Faizabad sit-in judgment

Published April 16, 2019
In this file photo, protesters from the Tehreek-i-Labbaik Yah Rasool Allah throw rocks toward riot policemen during a clash in Islamabad on November 25. — AFP/File
In this file photo, protesters from the Tehreek-i-Labbaik Yah Rasool Allah throw rocks toward riot policemen during a clash in Islamabad on November 25. — AFP/File

The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf on Tuesday submitted a petition to the Supreme Court for review of the apex court's February 6 judgment given on the sit-in staged by Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pak­istan (TLP) at Raw­alpindi’s Faizabad area in November 2017.

According to the petition, the judgment "suffers from defects" and "needs to be reviewed to avoid injustice".

The party in its application has asked the SC to expunge certain remarks from the February 6 judgment about the 2014 sit-in staged by the PTI and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT).

Explore: 10 major takeaways from SC's Faizabad sit-in judgment

PTI has stressed in the petition that the suo motu case heard by the SC pertained to the 2017 TLP sit-in rather than to the PTI-PAT protest.

"However, the reference to the PTI-PAT dharna was made in paragraphs 17, 22, 23, 24 and 52 of the Judgment under Review. The impression gained from the aforesaid is that as if the petitioner conducted an illegal protest for publicity and deliberately made wrong allegations," states the petition.

Therefore, the party has submitted the plea on the following grounds, as per the petition:

A. That once the Faizabad dharna has been concluded, the remarks mentioned above were unnecessary and liable to be expunged.

B. That it is respectfully submitted that the petitioner conducted the dharna for genuine reasons and the same was in accordance with the fundamental rights of the people of Pakistan. The dharna was neither for publicity nor for any ulterior motives and the petitioner raised political demands and stood up for the civil rights of the citizens of Pakistan. The petitioner had nothing to do with the Faizabad dharna. The remarks in the judgment under review to the contrary therefore need to be expunged.

C. That the aforesaid observations were made without hearing the petitioner and giving any opportunity to explain. Such observations are liable to be expunged.

Verdict could affect armed forces' morale: Ministry of Defence

The Ministry of Defence also filed a review petition, requesting the apex court to reconsider its verdict, which it said contains "adverse observations and negative declaratory remarks" regarding the armed forces, for it could "affect their morale".

The petition, filed by Attorney General of Pakistan Anwar Mansoor Khan and Advocate Nawaz Chaudhry, states that the faith that some military "officers are violating the fundamental rights of the citizens, supporting a particular party and doling out cash to extremists" could "affect the rank and file's morale"

The petition states that "even in the best of the times, the suspicion that the officers are violating their oath drives a wedge between the men and their officers," noting that in the prevailing turbulent times, the same has the potential of "unraveling the unity of the armed forces".

The defence ministry's petition further states that the verdict "created the impressed that the armed forces have been found to be involved in politics and other unlawful activities" — allegations it termed "disturbing and unsupported by any credible and admissible evidence".

The petition prayed to the court to "set aside the explicit or implicit adverse observations implicating the armed forces of Pakistan and the ISI".

Meanwhile, the Election Commission of Pakistan has also filed a separate review petition against the top court's verdict.

Not the first review petition

Today's application is not the first time the PTI has filed a petition for review of the Faizabad verdict. On April 12, the PTI requested the SC to set aside its February 6 verdict, accusing the author judge, Justice Qazi Faez Isa, of being ‘biased’.

“The learned author judge has had such an extreme conviction about the 2014 PTI-PAT dharna at Islamabad and the role of the petitioner and its members that he dragged in the reference of the 2014 sit-in into the matter,” alleged a petition moved by PTI secretary general Arshad Dad through his counsel Barrister Syed Ali Zafar. “Thus the petitioner has a reasonable apprehension that the author judge was allegedly biased,” the petition contended.

Read more: How ordinary citizens make their way through Faizabad during the sit-in

The PTI petition contended that the judgment made a reference to the 2014 PTI-PAT sit-in and then went on to observe that those responsible for it got off scot-free and were now in high places or positions of public office without any determination of facts or available material on the record.

The registrar office had marked objections on the earlier review petition and returned it.

In today's application, the PTI removed any objections pertaining to Justice Isa.

Federal Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed had also approached the SC, seeking deletion of his name from the judgment on the November 2017 TLP sit-in.

In his petition, Sheikh Rashid pleaded that if the words concerning him in para-4 of the judgment were not expunged, he would suffer adversely in his life, reputation, etc.



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