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January 21, 2021

Plea against PDM’s protest outside ECP dismissed

Lahore

January 21, 2021

LAHORE:The Lahore High Court has dismissed a petition seeking a restraining order against Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) from holding its protest outside the building of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

Justice Shahid Jamil Khan in his verdict observed that the petition was not maintainable before the LHC on the ground of territorial jurisdiction since the impugned protest was held in Islamabad.

“Urgency or convenience cannot be a ground for assumption of jurisdiction to issue writ of mandamus to a person performing functions beyond the territorial jurisdiction,” the judge said in the order released on Wednesday.

Muneer Ahmad, a lawyer, filed the petition through Advocate Azhar Siddique saying the protest by the PDM was illegal and against the spirit of Article 16 of the Constitution, which provides the citizens fundamental right of assembly, and the public order of society.

The petitioner said the unconstitutional protests by the PDM clearly fell within the offences of high treason and sedition. He submitted that the protest being held by the PDM outside the ECP was unconstitutional as the latter was a constitutional body. He alleged that the protest was an attempt to hinder the ECP from following the constitutional mandate which had been set out for it in various provisions of the Constitution. The petitioner asked the court to order the government authorities to set the law in motion and proceed against the PDM and its members for their illegal and unconstitutional actions.