LHC green-lights Aurat March, but with conditions
LAHORE: The Lahore High Court on Tuesday wrapped up a petition against the holding of Aurat March, reiterating its earlier remarks that the gathering could not be stopped under the Constitution and directing the Lahore district authorities to speed up its decision on an application seeking permission to hold the march.
The petition, filed by Judicial Activism Council Chairman Azhar Siddique, had claimed “there are various anti-state parties funding the march with the sole purpose of spreading anarchy in public.”
During Tuesday’s hearing, LHC Chief Justice Mamoon Rashid Sheikh said “under the law and Constitution of the country, the Aurat March cannot be stopped” but went on to say that the marchers should “refrain from hate speech and immorality”.
Earlier, the police department submitted a written response on the matter and said that the march will be provided foolproof security. But the police did remind the organisers that Lahore’s Mall Road was off-limits for public gatherings of any kind.
“Police has heard the objections [on the march] from various civil society members,” the reply read. It said objections did not concern the holding of the march but on the “banners and slogans used in the march”.
Reiterating his statement from the previous hearing, the petitioner, Azhar Siddiqui, told the court: “We never wanted for the Aurat March to be stopped.”