LAHORE: LHC Chief Justice Mamoon Rashid Sheik on Thursday highlighted during a hearing on a petition against the Aurat in March 2020, that no ban could be put on freedom of expression.
The petition, submitted by local lawyer Advocate Azhar Siddique, requested a permanent ban on the forthcoming Aurat March, coinciding with International Women’s Day, 8 March, for being “anti-state” and “un-Islamic.”
Renowned lawyer Hina Jilani was allowed to become a party in the case the LHC released notices. Advocate Jilani, a member of The Elders, a community of global leaders that was founded by Nelson Mandela, rejected the petition, saying that the Aurat March was organized to enhance the importance of women in society.
“How is the petitioner at all related to the Aurat March? ” Jilani asked, in reference to Siddique.
The event was “scheduled for Sunday and, therefore, would not impact businesses,” she added.
We don’t just march like that, “she said, emphasizing on the march’s preparation, permits, and pre-march planning.
Siddique went on to clarify that he was not intending to stop the Aurat March but remarked that there “objectionable” posters and placards last year.
“See posters from last year, see what happened,” he told the court.
Justice Sheik, nevertheless, highlighted that the court could not put a ban on freedom of expression. On the other hand, the court also requested the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and the Punjab Police to send their responses of the petition in the next hearing.
Aurat March Lahore offered gratitude to the people “for coming up in our behalf” after the end of the hearing.