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 were not there to restrain any lawful political activity in the country.
Advocate Ahmad Pansota, representing the association, protest activities by the political parties were expected to risk the lives and expose thousands of people to COVID-19 pandemic. He also questioned a meeting held at Rawalpindi’s Liaqat Bagh by the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf.
He said the National Command and Operations Centre recently directed provinces and federating units to crack down on violation of the Covid-19 related SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures). He said allowing the PDM to hold protests would amount to the irresponsible behaviour of the government authorities and the political parties that could put the health of everyone at risk.
The counsel pointed out that the Punjab health department also warned 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 detrimental to the health of citizens.
He asked the court to restrain the political parties from carrying out any activity involving gatherings and processions of any kind in violation of the government’s SOPs.
The PML-N, PPP, JUI-F, PTI, election commission, federal and provincial governments were made parties in the petition.