Aurat March cannot be stopped under the constitution, Lahore High Court
Lahore High Court summed up a petition against Aurat March on Tuesday (today). It emphasized its earlier remarks that Aurat March could not be stopped under the constitution.
Lahore district authorities are asked by the court to speed up its decision on the appeal to seek permission for the gathering.
Judicial Activism Council Chairman Azhar Siddique filed a petition. He said, “there are various anti-state parties funding the march with the sole purpose of spreading anarchy in public.”
He also called the march “against the norms of Islam” with a “hidden agenda” to spread “vulgarity and hatred”.
LHC Chief Justice Mamoon Rashid Sheikh said today during the hearing, “Under the law and Constitution of the country, the Aurat March cannot be stopped”. However, he also insisted that the marchers should “refrain from hate speech and immorality”.
Women activists had requested Lahore High Court to ‘regulate’ Aurat March to make sure implementation of Citizen Protection (Against Online Harm) Rules 2020.
The police department had given a written response and had ensured that the march will be given foolproof security.
it was written in the response, “Police have heard the objections [on the march] from various civil society members,”. It said that the objections concerned “banners and slogans used in the march”.
The petitioner Azhar Sidiqui said to the court, “We never wanted for the Aurat March to be stopped.”
Nighat Dad, a digital rights activist, defended the march and told the petitioner, “You wrote in your petition that the march is anti-state, which is a very dangerous claim.”
Azhar Siddiqui replied, “Women are the beauty of our society. Then they talk about slogans like ‘Mera jism, meri marzi’ (my body, my choice). The perception in the world is that we oppress our women,”
Chief justice asked how many people are organizing the event. Dad said they were expecting “at least four to five thousand people including men, women and transgender people will take part in it.”
Dad added, “We are ready to give a guarantee that no actions against the law will take place at the march,”
LHC chief justice said, “There are no two opinions about women’s rights and it is the responsibility of the organizers of the Aurat March to ensure that no immoral slogans are raised at the march.”
“Under the law and constitution of Pakistan, this march cannot be stopped,” he said.
“The organizers and participants of the march should remain within the ambit of the law. The police DIG Operations has assured foolproof security for the march,”
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