LAHORE - The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Wednesday directed the federal government to come up with the arguments on legal status and criterion for the appointment of Maryam Nawaz Sharif, while hearing a petition challenging her appointment as Chairperson of Prime Minister Youth Loan Programme.

Zubair Khan Niazi of PTI had filed the petition submitting that the appointment of Maryam Nawaz Sharif was illegal as it was result of sheer nepotism. During the course of proceedings, Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah observed that the government would have to explain under what law public money was being used for political purposes. The judge expressed serious concerns over the control of public money by an individual of the ruling party.

The court sought personal appearance of any responsible representative of the Youth Loan Program on the next hearing. The judge also directed the law officer to come up with instructions from the government on the points raised in the petition. The proceedings adjourned till Oct 30.

The petitioner, through his counsel Advocate Sheraz Zaka, had submitted that Maryam Nawaz’s appointment was illegal as the government did not give any advertisement for the said post.

This act of the government was sheer nepotism and the prior consultation with Council of Common Interests was mandatory, he argued. He further said that the appointment of Maryam Nawaz was against the ruling of Supreme Court’s 2012 landmark judgment in the Anita Turab case. The petitioner alleged that PM had also violated Article 91 (5) of the Constitution by concealing the fact. He requested the court to set aside the appointment of Maryam Nawaz as chairperson of Prime Minister Youth Loan Programme and restrain her from working in the public office.

MPA’s plea dismissed: The Lahore High Court Wednesday dismissed a petition filed by PML-N MPA Saiful Malook Khokhar challenging inspection of ballots in PP-160, Lahore ordered by an election tribunal.

Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah of the LHC heard the case. The Judge dismissed the petition observing that it was not maintainable as the interim orders of the Elections Tribunals cannot be challenged before the LHC.  The petitioner had challenged the inspection of the record on a plea moved by defeated candidate of PTI Zaheer Abbas Khokhar. The petitioner stated that the tribunal had limited powers under Representative of Peoples Act and could not appoint a commission for scrutiny of ballots. He prayed the court to set aside the tribunal’s orders. In another case, a division bench of the LHC converted death penalty into life imprisonment of two convicts in Maulana Azam Tariq murder-attempt case. Convicts Ghulam Murtaza Naqvi and Zaheer Ahmad had challenged the conviction by s trial court. They said that the court convicted them but ignored many grave facts of the case as it relied on prosecution witnesses only.

After hearing their arguments, the bench converted their sentence.  Anti-Terrorism Court in Sargodha district had awarded them death sentence on  under section 302 of PPC and section 7 of ATA for attacking on convey of Maulana Azam Tariq in 1994 and killing two of his gunmen.