The Supreme Court of Pakistan has scheduled the review petition concerning the Faizabad sit-in case for September 28.
Presiding over the review petition, Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa spearheads the three-member panel comprising Justices Amin-ud-Din Khan and Athar Minallah.
Origins of the Legal Contention
The backdrop of this case dates to April 15, 2019. A collection of entities, including the former federal government, Defence Ministry, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) government, Awami Muslim League’s chief Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, Mutahidda Qaumi Movement (MQM), the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra), and several others, challenged the apex court’s ruling. This ruling, delivered by the present Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa, pertained to the Faizabad sit-in incident.
Before this, on February 6, 2019, a verdict by a two-judge bench, including the now-Chief Justice Isa and Justice Mushir Alam, decreed stringent actions against individuals issuing edicts harmful to others. The judgement emphasized that intelligence entities should operate strictly within their designated scope. This bench’s decision culminated in the suo moto case on the 2017 Faizabad sit-in orchestrated by the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP).
The official declaration, spanning 43 pages and available on the Supreme Court’s official platform, elucidates, “The right to protest is fundamental, provided it remains peaceful and within legal parameters. Any assembly or protest should not infringe upon others’ rights, including the freedom of movement and property ownership.”
A historical glance at November 2017 reveals the top court’s proactive stance, taking suo motu cognizance of a 21-day sit-in. The protest emerged in opposition to an alteration in the finality-of-Prophethood oath. The government labelled this as an administrative oversight during the Elections Act 2017 ratification. Eventually, the sit-in concluded after an accord between the protesters and the authorities.