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P L D 2005 LAHORE 354

HAFIZ ASMATULLAH
V/S
GOVERNMENT OF PUNJAB AND OTHERS
Constitution of Pakistan (1973) Arts. 20, 36(3),227 & 199-
The petition was dismissed as mentioned above by the learned Single Judge observing that “Under Article 20 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973 every citizen enjoys a Fundamental Right to profess, practise and propagate his religion and every religious denomination and every sect thereof has a right to establish, maintain and manage its religious institution. The petitioner has failed to point out in his petition and has also failed to address any argument before this Court as to how the actions of respondent no. 4 offend against any particular law, public order or morality so as to exclude the application of Article 20 referred to above.

After hearing the learned counsel for the appellant we have found absolutely no error or illegality in the approach adopted by the learned Single Judge in dismissing the petition and would rather reaffirm the view taken in the impugned order by reproducing Article 20 of the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973 :

“20. Freedom to profess religion and to manage religious institution. – Subject to law, public order and morality –

(a) every citizen shall have the right to profess, practise and propagate his religion; and

(b) every religious denomination and every sect thereof shall have the right to establish, maintain and manage it religious institutions.”
Reliance of the learned counsel upon Article 227 of the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973 in the context is inapt inasmuch as clause (3) thereof ensures that “Nothing in this Part shall affect the personal laws of non-Muslim citizens or their status as citizens”. It rather gives added strength to fundamental right no. 20 ibid and is also consistent with the principles of Police as contained in Article 36, which reads like this : —

“Article 36. Protection of minorities.-The state shall safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of minorities, including their due representation in the Federal and Provincial services.”

Needless to reiterate that benevolence and to tolerance is the hallmark of religion of Islam and our faith. Indeed the provisions of Article 20, 36 and clause (3) of article 227 is reflection thereof. We, therefore, find no valid justification to interfere with the order passed by the learned Single Judge.

The appeal is dismissed accordingly. [pp. 355,356] A& B

Appeal dismissed.

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