LAHORE: The Lahore High Court has directed the Punjab government to ensure that during holding of public gathering by the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), no damage is caused to the property by any of the parties, participants or outsiders and it shall ensure that the party shall be bound to indemnify the wastage/damage.
In his detailed order issued on petitions against the PTI’s rally at National Hockey Stadium, Justice Muzamil Akhtar Shabbir further says hockey is our national game, therefore, the provincial government shall ensure that AstroTurf of the stadium is replaced by a new one or is restored at the earliest.
He states that special arrangements shall be made in the budget by the provincial government to restore the turf of the stadium.
As regards the loss suffered by any player or club, the judge observes that if there is any loss of income, the concerned person may challenge the same before relevant authorities which claim, if raised, shall be decided on its own merits in accordance with law.
As regards contention of the petitioners that holding of political gathering shall damage the property of the hockey stadium, therefore, permission granted to the PTI be recalled, Justice Shabbir notes that the province and the district administrator have to ensure that sufficient arrangements are made to protect the property and the same is neither wasted nor damaged and hold the PTI and its management responsible to indemnify the loss or damage, if any.
However, the judge says the AstroTurf previously laid down in the stadium has been removed as a precautionary measure, as evident from the order passed by Pakistan Sports Board, therefore, PTI cannot be held responsible to bear the cost of the purchase of new AstroTurf at this stage, which cost for purchase is to be borne by the Punjab government.
PML-N former minister Attaullah Tarar and others had filed the petitions against the PTI’s rally in the hockey stadium.
The other day, Justice Shabbir had disposed of the petitions, turning down the request to restrain the PTI from holding the rally in the stadium with an observation that the matter relates to the jurisdiction of the district administration.
Published in Dawn, August 14th, 2022