Journalist’s pension plea: LHC orders NPT to file reply by 12th
LAHORE: Justice Farrukh Irfan Khan of the Lahore High Court on Tuesday turned down a plea of the National Press Trust and ordered filing of a reply by April 12, warning that otherwise the court would pass an order on the petition of veteran journalist Shafqat Tanvir Mirza, who sought release of his pension benefits withheld by the NPT (ex-Progressive Papers Limited).
On the previous hearing, the judge had directed the trust’s counsel to file the reply but on Tuesday he sought two weeks time for the purpose.
Expressing displeasure at the counsel’s request, the judge allowed him only two days for filing the reply.
Advocate Maqsooma Zahra Bokhari, representing the petitioner, stated that Federal Information Minister Firdous Ashiq Awan had visited the petitioner in hospital and assured the journalist that all his pending dues would be paid soon.
The counsel said the minister had also vowed to conduct an inquiry into the delay in the dues release, but no action was taken.
Mr Mirza had prayed that the respondents be directed to pay the past pension approximately in the sum of Rs1.2 million immediately in accordance with the current and prevalent rules and regulations of pension since 1996 as a lump sum, to enable him to get his treatment with dignity and respect.
The petitioner is a former editor of “Daily Imroz” published by the “Progressive Papers Ltd” (PPL).
The counsel said the petitioner had joined the PPL in 1963 and was in service for over 25 years and as per Section 7 (II) of the PPL Pension Rules, 1985, he was entitled to receive 50 per cent of his last pay drawn.
Ayesha’s plea: An additional district and sessions judge issued on Tuesday notices to the CCPO, the Operations DIG and the North Cantonment station house officer on a writ petition filed by Ayesha Ahad Malik, who accused senior police officers of harassing her at the behest of PML-N MNA Hamza Shahbaz and Ali Imran Yousaf, the son and the son-in-law of Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, respectively.
Ms Malik, who claims herself a wife of the MNA son of the chief minister, petitioned that a large number of policemen stormed her house on April 6 and ransacked it. The police also tortured her servants and watchman, she added.
She said the police informed her that they were acting on the orders of Hamza and Ali Imran and would conduct raids in future too. She also alleged the police warned her against pursuing cases against Hamza. They also demanded her that she should stop calling Hamza her husband.
She asked the court to order registration of criminal cases against Hamza, Imran and the respondent police officers for the April 6 raid.
She also requested the court to direct the police force to provide her protection against threats being hurled by the Punjab rulers.
The judge sought replies from the police officers by April 18.