Islamabad (Web Desk): The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday dismissed a petition seeking ban on Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-F (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman for allegedly delivering hate speech against institutions.
During the hearing, Chief Justice IHC Athar Minallah questioned why the court should prevent any person from exercising their right to freedom of speech.
He further remarked, “Even the judiciary is criticised.” “Our own record should be good enough for people to not raise a finger on us.”
“How many people will we ban? We cannot bar every person from speaking in the age of globalisation and social media,” Justice Minallah observed.
The IHC Chief Justice also stressed that the country should allow citizens to speak freely.
Later, the court declared the plea against the JUI-F chief as invalid for hearing.
The petitioner, Shahjahan Khan, had sought a ban on the broadcast of Fazl’s speeches and asked why the federal government had failed to take action against JUI-F leader for speaking against the military.
He added in the petition that the Fazl was liable to be charged with high treason due to his statements against the country’s armed forces.
Shahjahan named the JUI-F chief, the federal government, Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and the Pakistan Media Regulatory Authority’s (Pemra) chairperson as respondents.
On October 16, the IHC rejected all petitions against the JUI-F’s anti-government ‘Azadi March’ and remarked that no court in the world can abolish the right of demonstration.
The IHC, in its observation, had remarked that the JUI-F had earlier submitted an application to the Islamabad Capital Territory Authority (ICTA) for permission to hold the protest at D-Chowk in Islamabad.
The court had directed the local administration to decide on the issue in accordance with the law and the Constitution.