IHC dismisses PTI's petition seeking declaration of sedition law illegal

IHC dismisses PTI's petition seeking declaration of sedition law illegal

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Saturday dismissed a petition filed by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Shireen Mazari seeking the annulment of Section 124-A of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC), which pertains to sedition.

According to details, IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah dismissed the petition today for being non-maintainable.

Mazari had filed the petition after her party colleague, Shahbaz Gill, was charged under the law in Islamabad and kept behind bars for over a month.

"Section 124-A of Pakistan Penal Code, 1860 may very graciously be declared as ultra-vires in terms of Article 8 of the Constitution of Pakistan, 1973 being inconsistent with and in derogation of fundamental rights provided under Article 9, 14, 15, 16, 17 and 19, 19A of the Constitution," the petition read.

Mazari said that Section 124-A of the Sedition Act was being used to suppress freedom of expression, and it was inconsistent with the fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution.

The petition stated that sedition cases were resorted to suppress criticism and expression. In the petition, it was requested that Article 124-A of sedition be declared illegal.

The PTI leader had also requested the IHC that the registration of sedition cases may be stopped and an injunction may be issued in this regard.

On Friday, the IHC reserved its verdict on Shireen Mazari’s petition against Section 124-A of the PPC.

Mazari's Counsel presented arguments in court. However, Justice Athar Minallah maintained that sedition cases were registered even under the former PTI government.

The court told the former human rights minister that the power of legislation lay with the parliament and that she should go to parliament instead. It added that the court would not interfere with legislation.

The IHC CJ urged everyone to have faith in parliament.