CS gets notice on CM’s portfolios
LAHORE: The Lahore High Court on Wednesday issued a notice to Punjab chief secretary on a writ petition against Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif for holding portfolios of at least 18 ministries concurrently, including the health ministry. Justice Umar Ata Bandial held preliminary hearing of the petition and directed the chief secretary to file his reply within three weeks.
Petitioner-lawyer Noshab A Khan assailed the impugned act of the chief minister in the wake of loss of human lives due to use of unchecked substandard medicines in spite of having around 500 drug inspectors.
The lawyer referred to Punjab Government Rules of Business 1974 and pointed out that it was beyond comprehension as to why the chief minister kept all powers with him and having portfolios of approximately 18 ministries. He said the tragedies like the one occurred at Punjab Institute of Cardiology would continue to happen if a fulltime minister was not appointed for health.
The petitioner further said that according to the rules, the relevant minister was responsible for conducting the business relating to his department in the assembly, whereas the chief minister did not even find time to attend the provincial assembly sessions. He urged the court to declare the impugned act of the chief minister unconstitutional.
drugs’ scam: Justice Umar Ata Bandial of the Lahore High Court on Wednesday directed the registrar office to consolidate the petitions recently filed against the death of cardiac patients apparently due to use of spurious medicines supplied by the Punjab Institute of Cardiology and seeking strict action against those responsible for the scam.
The judge passed these directions while hearing a petition demanding disqualification of Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and his son, MNA Hamza Shahbaz, for being allegedly responsible for the whole disaster. Advocate Sardar Khurram Latif Khosa filed this petition.
The judge fixed Feb 6 for hearing of the related petitions and also directed Advocate Khosa to come up with arguments to establish maintainability of his petition.
Another petition filed by Advocate Azhar Siddique was already fixed for the date.
SENATE POLLS: The Lahore High Court chief justice on Wednesday took up a writ petition demanding a stay order against the upcoming Senate election and directed the petitioner’s counsel to advance arguments on next hearing in favour of maintainability of his petition.
Advocate Feroze Shah Gillani filed this petition saying elections of national and all provincial assemblies were not genuine and held on the basis of fake and unverified votes. Therefore, he said, the elections of the assemblies based on the existing voter lists were not in accordance with the requirements of Article 28(3) of the Constitution.
He asked the court to stay conduct of the forthcoming Senate election.