The Lahore High (LHC) on Wednesday dismissed the Young Doctors Association’s (YDA) petition which challenged the upcoming protest meetings by the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) in reference to Covid-19 threat.

Justice Masood Abid Naqvi heard arguments of the association’s counsel at length before dismissing the petition as not maintainable.

The judge observed that the courts can not authorize restrain on any lawful political activity in the country.

Advocate Ahmad Pansota, representative of the association, maintained that thousands of lives will be at risk of exposure to Covid-19 due to activities of the political parties. He also questioned a meeting held at Rawalpindi’s Liaqat Bagh by the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf.

He said the National Command & Operations Centre recently directed provinces and federating units to crackdown on violation of the Covid-19 related SOPs. He said allowing the PDM to hold protests would amount to irresponsible behaviour of the government authorities and the political parties that could put the health of everyone at risk.

The counsel also drew upon Punjab health department’s warning of a second wave of coronavirus in the province due to the lack of precautionary measures. He said since the country was still facing the first wave of the pandemic, the protests by the PDM at this point would be potentially harmful for the citizens.

He asked the court to honor the government’s SOPs and restrain the political parties from carrying out any activity involving gatherings and processions of any kind in violation.

The PML-N, PPP, JUI-F, PTI, election commission, federal and provincial governments were made parties in the petition.

Member of staff, the author is a Political Science alumna from Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS). She keeps an eye out for issues of social justice, censorship and our changing political discourse.
She can be reached at rabeeaqamar@thecorrespondent.pk

Member of staff, the author is a Political Science alumna from Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS). She keeps an eye out for issues of social justice, censorship and our changing political discourse. She can be reached at rabeeaqamar@thecorrespondent.pk

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