Local govt funds: LHC refuses to put restraint on administrators
LAHORE: Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed of the Lahore High Court on Monday turned down a plea to stop administrators from using funds of local governments (LG) till the next local body elections.
The Local Councils Association Pakistan (LCAP), through its counsel, had made the request during the hearing of its petition against appointments of administrators in Punjab and seeking court’s directions for holding fresh LG elections in the province.
Dismissing the request, the judge observed that restraint on using of funds would cause financial crisis as LG employees were also getting their salaries through the funds.
Meanwhile, additional advocate-general Muhammad Hanif Khatana informed the court that meetings at both federal and provincial level were being conducted and recommendations about holding of LG elections would be finalised by the last week of August. However, he said issuance of notification in this regard was responsibility of the Election Commission of Pakistan. The law officer also submitted minutes of these meetings on which the court adjourned the hearing till Aug 22.
The petitioner-association prayed that the appointments of administrators be declared unconstitutional and the government be directed to restore LG system by holding its elections afresh.
DR AAFIA CASE: The Lahore High Court on Monday sought a reply from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on a contempt petition for not complying with court’s order about writing an official letter to an American court and sending documentary proofs regarding innocence of Dr Aafia Siddiqui.
Hearing the petition filed by Barrister Javed Iqbal Jaffrey, Justice Ijaz Ahmad Chaudhry ordered a director-general of the foreign affairs ministry (American Desk), Sohail Khan, to submit a reply by July 28.
Barrister Jaffrey stated that the court had directed the ministry to write a letter to the US district court, informing it of facts regarding her abduction from Karachi and illegal repatriation to America along with her three children.
The petitioner sought contempt proceedings against the respondent director-general, saying that he remained failed to write letter to the US court.
Plea rejected: Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed of the Lahore High Court on Monday turned down a request of PML-Q MPA Malik Iqbal Langriyal to put a bar on the media from holding what he called ‘media trial’ of parliamentarian.
Justice Saeed even stopped the counsel for the MPA, who is defending petition challenging his degree, from using the word ‘media trial’, observing that no misreporting had been seen so far about the proceedings of the court.
He further said that the media was only publishing or airing reports regarding Higher Education Commission’s investigations into qualification of parliamentarians which was originally ordered by the National Assembly’s standing committee on education.
If the media misquoted proceedings of the commission, then the aggrieved party could initiate legal action, the judge said adding that only deliberate misreporting could be questioned. However, human error could be ignored, the judge observed.
Justice Saeed further remarked that he could not bar the media from fair reporting even about court’s proceedings on the election petition pending against the MPA.
A defeated candidate, Mian Saif-ur-Rehman Joiya of the PML-N, challenged the graduation degree of Langriyal, who had returned to the Punjab Assembly from PP-226, Sahiwal-VII.
The counsel representing Langriyal said the media had already declared his client a cheater whereas the court had yet to give its verdict. He sought a ban on the media from reporting the degree issue of his client till the verdict.
Meanwhile, the judge adjourned hearing till July 24 and directed the respondent’s counsel to testify on July 23 before a local commissioner appointed by the court.