KARACHI: The Sindh High Court on Wednesday issued notices to the home secretary and inspector general of police (IGP) on a petition filed against detention of leaders and workers of the opposition Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf under the Maintenance of Public Order (MPO) Ordinance.
A two-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Ahmed Ali M. Shaikh observed that it had doubts about the maintainability of the petition, but notices were being issued as the matter was pertaining to liberty and detention.
It also put the IGP on notice for May 29 when around two dozen petitions filed by relatives of PTI’s workers detained under the MPO will be taken up for hearing.
The bench in its order stated: “Though we have doubt as to the maintainability of this petition. Since the matter pertains to the liberty and detentions. As such issue notice to the respondents as well as AAG for 29.05.2023.”
Abdul Jalil Marwat petitioned the SHC on May 15 stating that he was a PTI worker and over 260 leaders and workers of his party had been detained by the provincial authorities under the MPO for 30 days and kept them in different prisons of province.
He submitted that notifications about such detentions were issued by the home department on the recommendations of the IGP.
The petitioner contended that upon illegal arrest of former prime minister Imran Khan on the premises of the Islamabad High Court on May 9, the party leaders and workers took to streets to exercise their legal and constitutional right to protest to express solidarity with their leader, but some miscreants provoked them.
Thereafter, he maintained that a crackdown was launched on the party leaders and workers across the country and in Sindh.
The petitioner argued that the arrests and detentions were not explained and no opportunity of free and fair representation was provided to the detainees.
He argued that the Sindh government had imposed Section 144 of criminal procedure code in the city, but on the other hand the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party held a procession on May 13 and blocked M.A. Jinnah Road in violation of such a ban.
The petitioner submitted that the detentions under the MPO were illegal and unconditional, and pleaded to quash the detention orders and release the interned leaders and workers of PTI.
Published in Dawn, May 25th, 2023
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