PHC releases all MPO detainees in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

PESHAWAR: Peshawar High Court on Thursday decided to issue directives to the concerned authorities to release all the persons facing detention under Maintenance of Public Order (MPO) after staging the protests following the arrest of Imran Khan on May 09 in the province.

A division bench of the PHC comprising Justice Ishtiaq Ibrahim and Justice Sahibzada Asadullah passed the orders in response to as many as 108 pleas urging the court to declare their arrest illegal. The bench asked all the persons to submit sufficient surety by executing bond for good conduct before Deputy Commissioner to remain peaceful under law of the land.

The Peshawar High Court (PHC) has sought a response from the caretaker government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) over the arrests of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) workers under 3 MPO.

Earlier last week, a two-member bench of the PHC  comprising Justice Shakeel Ahmed and Justice Waqar Ahmed, disposed of more than two dozen petitions filed against the arrests of political workers and postponed the hearing of the matter till May 18.

K-P Advocate General Amir Javid objected to the admissibility of the writ petitions, saying that they could not be heard at the time because the provincial cabinet had imposed an emergency in the province. He contended that after the enactment of Article 245 of the Constitution of Pakistan, the court could not hear such writ petitions.

The petitioners contended that the provincial government had issued arrest warrants under 3 MPO against various workers of the former ruling party and there had been raids to nab them although they did not have anything to do with protests.

Their counsels also argued that the persons identified by the police had already been arrested and now they were carrying out raids to arrest party leaders. The counsels added that 3 MPO is only relevant when there is solid evidence against them.

The counsel urged the court to release those arrested in this regard and asked for the suspension of arrest warrants under 3 MPO. The AG apprised the bench that the warrants had been issued under 3 MPO. Counsels further submitted that at present, the fundamental rights were suspended in the province under Article 245 III, so the court could not hear these cases.

The court has been informed that no retaliatory action was being taken against anyone and whatever action had indeed been taken was based on available evidence. He, therefore, asked for some time to submit a response in this regard. The court declared that orders should be given to those who had been kept devoid of them under the MPO. It further declared that the decision on the admissibility of the cases would be made on May 18.TLTP


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