LAHORE - Lahore High Court Chief Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah on Tuesday constituted a full bench to take up a petition challenging placement of barriers on a road outside the residences of the ruling Sharif family in Jati Umra and Model Town and offices of the inspector general of Punjab Police.

The three-member bench headed by Justice Aminuddin Khan and consisting of Justice Shahid Jamil Khan and Shahid Karim would take up the matter on Jan 31.

The chief justice formed the full bench on the request of Justice Shahid Karim who was hearing a petition moved by Abdullah Malik, head of a civil society network, challenging The Mall sit-in.

Advocate Azhar Siddique appeared before the court to represent the petitioner, submitting that public money was being misused in Jati Umra by members of the Sharif family. He said a security wall had been built around the home of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif at the cost of Rs250 million. He said Rs75 million was spent on security of the Sharif family last week.

The petitioner submitted that security equipment of around of Rs806 million had been installed around residence of the Sharif family, including jammers of around Rs12.5 million. He submitted that security staff of 2,750 was deputed outside Jati Umra and about Rs40 million had been spent on security arrangements.

 The counsel said that heavy barricades had been put outside the residences of Sharif family in Jati Umra and Model Town and people were suffering due to these barricades. He said that barricades on the roads were violating people’s rights.

The counsel said that executive orders passed by the prime minister, Punjab chief minister, chief secretary or any other minister were illegal. He argued that these were not approved by the cabinet.

He said that putting barriers on the roads was a violation of Section 24-A of the General Clauses Act and various judgements of the superior courts. He asked the court to order the government to remove all barriers and blockades installed in Jati Umra on the road outside the residence of former prime minister, IG office, Punjab chief minister’s camp office and other places in the city.

VERDICT RESERVED

The Lahore High Court on Tuesday reserved verdict on maintainability of a petition seeking disqualification of Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif.

A local citizen had moved the petition that Shehbaz Sharif besides being Punjab Chief Minister was chairman of Punjab Mass Transit Authority. He said the law didn’t allow anyone to hold dual public office.

The petitioner said the Punjab chief minister had lost his eligibility under Article 63 of the Constitution. He asked the court to disqualify Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif over violation of law.

After hearing initial arguments, the court reserved verdict on maintainability of the writ petition.

BAB-I-PAKISTAN CASE: The LHC on Tuesday dismissed as not maintainable a petition challenging construction of Bab-i-Pakistan with new design. Justice Shahid Karim passed the order on a petition moved by architect Amjad Mukhtar.

The petitioner had said that Bab-i-Pakistan’s construction was being made under the new design. The project was of over Rs1 billion but the government stopped its construction, he said.

He said now the project was redesigned and over Rs4 billion were allocated for it. Such a big amount was a burden on the national exchequer, he said.

The petitioner alleged that Khawaja Saad Rafiq wanted to replace the new design with new design due to personal interests. He asked the court to set aside the new design for being burden on national exchequer.