Punjab government lifts section 144 in Lahore
The Government of Punjab’s Home Department on Thursday withdrew Section 144 in Lahore that was imposed on Wednesday ahead of PTI rally in the provincial capital.
In a notification, the department said “order dated 08-03-2023 issued by the Home Department to prohibit all kinds of assemblies, gatherings, sits-in, rallies, processions, demonstrations, jalsas, dharnas, protests and such like other activities within the territorial jurisdiction of district Lahore under Section 144(6) of ‘The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898’ for a period of 07 days is hereby withdrawn with immediate effect.”
The provincial government on Wednesday had imposed Section 144 in Lahore, banning public gatherings ahead of PTI’s rally.
In a notification, the Home Department said “it has been observed that number of rallies and protests are held therein on daily basis at different places of District Lahore, which not only pose serious security threats but also disrupt traffic and cause inconvenience to public at large.”
There is also a history of terrorist activities in the rallies/ protests, wherein a number of police officials and civilians embraced shahadat, it added.
The order had come as the PTI prepared to kickstart its election campaign from the provincial capital. The party had planned a procession from Zaman Park to Data Darbar.
The move had been challenged by PTI in Lahore High Court.
The plea submitted by Sikandar Zulqarnain advocate stated that the additional chief secretary could not slap section 144 in the city, it is the prerogative of the Lahore deputy commissioner.
Terming the imposition of section 144 as ‘illegal’ by the additional chief secretary, the LHC was pleaded to nullify the orders.
At the outset of the hearing today, Punjab’s top law officer informed the court Section 144 had been lifted which was imposed due to security threats.
“Yesterday was a sensitive day, so the implementation of Section 144 was the right step.”
At this, LHC disposed of PTI leader Hammad Azhar’s petition.