LAHORE - The dismissal of a man’s bail allegedly involved in defrauding people in the name of Benazir Income Support Programme remained as the most important case during the last week. The Supreme Court Lahore registry took up his bail petition and rejected it over the said charges.

Federal Investigation Agency arrested Muhammad Ashraf and recovered 33 mobile SIMs from his custody. A deputy attorney general told the court that a gang run by the suspect deprived people of their valuable money worth over Rs10 million.

He said the FIA has arrested eight members of the gang so far. The gang used to mint money from poor people by sending fake messages on their mobile phones impersonating officials of Benazir Income Support Programme.

After hearing both sides, the court observed that such criminals should be kept behind the bar. 

It was the week in which LHC Chief Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah made his salary/perks public and also appointed a Public Information Officer under Punjab Transparency and Right to Information Act 2013.

The chief justice said he was drawing Rs1.0538 million (Rs10,50538) per month which includes substantive pay of Rs713280, special judicial allowance of Rs269525 and medical allowance of Rs67733, said a release. It said Chief Justice Shah was not receiving entitled monthly house rent of Rs65000 as he living in official residence. The information was also forwarded to Punjab Information Commission.

The other important cases which were heard by the LHC last week included the detention of Jamatud Dawa Chief Hafiz Saeed, alleged out of turn appointments with LHC and the five regulatory bodies which were subjugated by the ministries they were supposed to regulate.

The PAT filed a petition challenging decision of ATC to the extent of not summoning PM Nawaz Sharif, CM Shehbaz Sharif, law minister Rana Sanaullah and other federal ministers and officials in Model town killings. Besides this, a man challenged recruitment of 500 officials with Punjab Saaf Pani Company during the last week.

In its petition, Idara Minhajul Quran filed a petition in the LHC  and challenged a decision by an anti-terrorism court of not summoning Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and others in Model Town killings case.

Jawad Hamid, the petitioner who is part of Idara Minhajul Quran, pleaded that the trial court ignored the case evidence and erred by not summoning the twelve respondents. He alleged that the prime minister and others were the real master-minds and abettors of the incident.

The petitioner prayed to the court to set aside the ATC decision and direct it to summon the twelve respondents.

In petition against Punjab Saaf Pani Company, the LHC was requested to stay process for the appointment of 500 officials with the company.  A citizen through his counsel Advocate Sheraz Zaka submitted that establishment of different companies in the province including Saaf Pani had already been challenged before the court.

He said the company has initiated the process to fill 500 posts while the petition against its establishment is still pending before the court. He said that the officials being appointed against the advertised posts may face an irreparable damage if the ruling of the court comes against the company’s formation.

The lawyer contended that provincial companies whose objects were restricted to one province, cannot be formed under a federal statute of companies ordinance 1984. He pleaded that there should have been a provincial law to form such companies.

Therefore, he argued that the recruitment process at Punjab Saaf Pani Company should be immediately stopped. Chief Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah would take up the case on Monday (today).

On petition against out of turn promotions, the LHC directed its registrar office to provide the petitioner record of such promotions, if any, in the high court establishment.

Muhammad Akmal Khan, an official of the LHC, had filed a petition alleging that many officers of the court had been holding seats or posts in the leverage of Rule 26 of the LHC establishment rules. The petitioner also claimed that he had been waiting for his promotion for last nine years.

Petitioner’s counsel Azhar Siddique argued that the petitioner was not given promotion although he had been serving the LHC for last 24 years.

He alleged that some other officials were promoted who had earlier been appointed under rule 26. He alleged that appointments under rule 26 were out of turn appointments and thus their promotions had the same status. He said it was a violation of SC judgments.

The lawyer said in the recent past drastic changes had taken place regarding the appointment and promotions of the officials with state institutions. He said in the light of the SC judgment, all appointments and promotions made under Rule 26 of the LHC establishment rules were out of turn appointments and promotions.

The counsel asked the court to stop further appointments, inductions and promotions till final disposal of the petition. He also asked the court to order the registrar to furnish details of the out-of-turn promotions.

Justice Muhammad Anwarul Haq adjourned hearing till March 28 and directed the registrar to provide the petitioner record of the such promotions, if any.

In addition to this, the LHC directed Punjab secretary environment to submit an explanation about non-implementation of an order for regularization of the department’s employees.

Shazia Pervez and others had filed a contempt of court petition against the secretary environment for defying the court’s order. Representing the petitioners, the lawyer argued that the high court had directed the secretary environment to regularise the employees but yet the order had not been complied with.

He contended that through the corroboration of the documents the project in which employees (petitioners) were inducted converted from development to non development side which meant the employees were supposed to be regularised. Justice Abid Aziz Sheikh directed the secretary environment to submit his explanation by April 5. Moreover, the LHC also sought para wise comments from federal government and five regulatory bodies which were subjugated to their relevant ministries.

In petition against detention of Hafiz Saeed, a law officer on behalf of Punjab home department submitted that Hafiz Saeed and his aides were detained after the federal government informed it that the Jamatud Dawa and Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation were engaged in certain activities which could be prejudicial to peace and security and in violation of Pakistan’s obligations to the UN security council resolution passed against these organisations.

Advocate Dogar submitted that his clients were detained under pressure from US and India. He said if the government find anything wrong on the part of his clients, it should deal them in accordance with the law of the land and not under the obligations of the UN resolution.

He said in 2009 Hafiz Saeed was also put under house arrest despite banning his organization. But, he said, a full bench of the LHC had declared that detention illegal as the government failed in presenting any proves of his involvement in terrorism.

Argues of Dogar were going on and the court due to shortage of time put off the hearing till Monday (today).

According to details, the Punjab government on January 28 had placed names of Hafiz Saeed, Abdullah Ubaid (Faisalabad), Malik Zafar Iqbal Shahbaz (Markaz Tayyaba Muridke), Abdul Rehman Abid (Markaz Tayyaba Muridke) and Qazi Kashif Hussain of Multan in fourth schedule and on February 30 had put them under detention for 90 days.