LAHORE – The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Friday sought reply from the Punjab government on a petition challenging eligibility of three members of provincial service tribunal.

The petitioner submitted that under the Punjab Tribunal Service Act, maximum age limit for member of the services tribunal was 58 years. However, he said three members of the tribunal including Tariq Ayub, Abdul Majeed and Karim Bakhsh were over aged and appointed in violation of merit.

He requested the court to set aside the appointment of the respondents being illegal.  Justice Nasir Saeed Sheikh issued notice to the government by adjourning hearing until August 8.

Separately, the LHC on Friday adjourned the hearing for September 14 for further arguments on petition against election of Dr Babar Awan as Senator.

Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial observed that the petitioner had filed the petition to stop Awan from participating in the Senate elections; however, now he had been elected as a senator and a new petition should be filed for his disqualification. “The court can disqualify him on the present petition and there is no need to file another petition in this regard”, petitioner Shahid Jami submitted.

The petitioner had filed the petition alleging that Awan had accumulated assets that did not match the amount of income tax he had paid. He also submitted that the respondent had national identity card of Islamabad but contested election from Punjab.

The petitioner contented that Awan was not eligible for the office of senator because he had concealed his assets from the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), making himself liable to be declared as disqualified.  He said the ECP unlawfully accepted Awan’s nomination papers for a senate seat from Punjab ignoring that Awan was a defaulter of agriculture tax, accumulated illegal assets, had a bogus PhD degree and mocked judiciary in a contempt of court case at the Supreme Court.

Also, the Lahore High Court on Friday sought reply from Punjab Health Secretary on a petition seeking contempt proceedings against quarters concerned for violating the court orders for regularisation the services of pharmacists.

Imran Younis and six other pharmacists filed the petition through their counsel Pervaiz Anayet Malik and pleaded they had been appointed on contract services after passing an examination through Punjab Public Services Commission (PPSC). However, they had fulfilled the merit but despite that they were not being regularised, petitioners added.

They pointed out that the court had ordered the Punjab Health Department to regularise their contract services, but the department did not comply with the court orders.

The requested the court to initiate contempt proceedings against the health authorities for defying the court orders and directed them to regularise their services.

Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial recorded their initial arguments and directed the health secretary to submit reply within two weeks.