Justice Jawad Hassan of Lahore High Court on Monday while disposing of an application directed the Punjab government to ensure presentation of the draft of a bill before the cabinet at the earliest for making law to declare Mall Road a red zone.
Application was filed on behalf of Judicial Activism Panel (JAP) questioning the delay in passing the law despite repeated orders by the court. Petitioner’s counsel Muhammad Azhar Siddique submitted that the Chairing Cross area on the Mall Road had been closed for traffic for over a week due to a prolonged sit-in by visually impaired persons.
He stated that the court had already imposed a ban on all such activities and the government had to promulgate law to protect this road. He pleaded that the government failed to make laws and it amounted to contempt of court.
He submitted that under the proposed law the government would be empowered to declare a specific area as a red zone and public gatherings, rallies and sit-ins would be banned. Places would be earmarked for public gatherings etc.
He stated that new law would also entail punishment up to five-year imprisonment and a fine up to one million rupees for violation.