ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) on Friday decided to resume hearing a suo motu case regarding Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan’s (TLP) sit-in at Faizabad Interchange last year on November 16.
A suo motu notice of the sit-in was taken by the country’s top court in November 2017.
The protests and sit-in at Faizabad Interchange by TLP workers lasted for three weeks until an agreement was reached with the government on November 27, 2017.
A two-judge bench of the SC, headed by Justice Mushir Alam and comprising Justice Qazi Faez Isa, will conduct the hearing of the case on Nov 16.
Furthermore, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has been directed to submit records of TLP’s registration as a political party.
The attorney general, secretaries of interior and defence, Islamabad inspector general of police (IGP) and the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) have also been sent notices by the apex court over the matter.
In the case’s last hearing, the Supreme Court bench had wondered whether a party whose head propagates views against the Constitution can be registered as a party under the Political Parties Act by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).
Referring to TLP chief Khadim Hussain Rizvi, Justice Isa had asked whether someone could be allowed to violate the Constitution even if he had a just cause.
At this, Attorney General Anwar Mansoor had explained that the ECP registers the parties but conceded that although protesting lawfully is everyone’s right, holding a protest so as to paralyse routine life is indeed unconstitutional. He added the ECP had the authority to revoke the registration of any political party.
The court had then issued a notice to the ECP to furnish the application under which the TLP had been registered and asked the attorney general to assist the court in determining whether the commission or the federal government was empowered under the Elections Act 2017 to take measures for regulating the parties.
Earlier this month, the TLP held countrywide protests against the acquittal of Aasia Bibi — a Christian woman acquitted after eight years on death row for blasphemy — condemning the judges on the bench hearing Aasia’s case, the prime minister and the army chief.