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January 10, 2019

LHC issues notices to Punjab, others in Basant case


January 10, 2019


The Lahore High Court on Wednesday issued notices to the provincial government, police chief and others on a petition challenging Punjab Prohibition of Kite-Flying Ordinance 2001.

A citizen namely Ayza Javed moved the petition as public interest litigation seeking a direction to the government functionaries not to allow kite-flying or “Basant” festival.

The petitioner through counsel Sheraz Zaka contended that the impugned ordinance authorised the government to allow kite-flying activities. He argued that the kite-flying activity was an infringement of fundamental rights of the citizens.

He pointed out that the Supreme Court in its 2006 judgment declared the kite-flying activity and celebration of Basant festival a violation of fundamental rights. He said the provincial government in 2009 introduced an amendment to the law acquiring power to allow kite-flying activity without defining any criteria.

The counsel argued that the fundamental rights were the most superior and special in nature and could not be disturbed without having strict recourse to the law. He said the Basant celebration would not only result in loss of lives but also the loss of electricity transmission.

He asked the court to direct the respondents not to allow celebration of Basant festival. He urged the court to declare void section 4(1) and 4-B of Punjab Prohibition of Kite-Flying Ordinance 2001, under which the government enjoyed powers to grant permission of kite-flying.

Punjab chief secretary, inspector general of police, lord mayor and Lesco had been made party in the petition. Justice Abid Aziz Sheikh issued notices to respondents for January 15 and directed the registrar office to consolidate the petition with identical petitions already taken up by Justice Aminuddin Khan.

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