IHC throws out petition seeking to stop Aurat March
Statesman Report
ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Friday dismissed a petition seeking to restrict the Aurat March as non-maintainable and not justiciable.
IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah dismissed the petition saying the right of assembly is a fundamental right but he stated that the court expects that the participants of the march will exercise their rights in accordance with the law.
The court had earlier in the day reserved its verdict on the maintainability of the petition, while questioning the petitioners’ interpretation of slogans they had objected to.
During Friday’s proceedings, the petitioners’ lawyers told the court that they sought restrictions on the Aurat March — scheduled to take place across the country on March 8 as the world marks Women’s Day — and shared some slogans that women would chant at such an event, including “mera jism, meri marzi” (my body, my choice), “divorced and happy”.
The eight petitioners had earlier appealed to the court to regulate activities like the Aurat March “subject to law, norms, decency and public morality in the best interest of justice and to order the respondents to perform their obligatory duties towards the Constitution and the law of land in this regard and restrain unlawful, unconstitutional and un-Islamic activities forthwith”.
The petitioners apprehended that slogans would be raised by some women’s rights activists which they find offensive and in violation of Islamic injunctions. They feared that the slogans would disturb harmony in the society and offend the established norms.