LAHORE -  The Lahore High Court on Thursday sought reply from the Punjab government on a petition for restoration of Jain Mandir (Temple) and protection of worship places of religious minorities.

Barrister Syed Javed Iqbal Jafree moved the petition arguing that that Jain Mandir, a worship place belonged to the minorities, was demolished which was sheer violation of law and rights of the minorities enshrined by the constitution. 

The lawyer said that many illegal buildings were built around churches, temples and other worship places of the minorities which had not been demolished yet. A federal law officer said that after the 18th amendment, protection of the minorities’ worship places was now the responsibility of the provincial government.

A Board of Revenue member told the court that all autonomous institutions and departments had been asked to protect the historic sites belonged to the minorities. A provincial law officer said that Jain Mandir was demolished in reaction of the demolition of Babri mosque. At this, Justice Atir Mahmood observed that it is known that temples were damaged during that period. The judge directed the law officer to come up with the report about Jain Mandir and adjourned further proceedings for two weeks.

Court seeks private firms datA

The Lahore High Court on Thursday sought the record of all public sector companies functioning in Punjab including their legal status and their heads’ salaries and other perks and privileges.

Justice Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi passed the order while hearing a petition challenging alleged irregularities in Punjab Saaf Pani Company. Justice Naqvi expressed serious concerns over establishment of public sector companies and heavy salaries of their chief executive officers and other staffers.

He also took notice of the salaries allegedly being drawn by the public servants as directors of such companies.  During the hearing, Saaf Pani Company CEO Nabeel Javed told the court that he was a BS-20 grade officer and had been drawing Rs1.4 million as monthly salary.  On it, Justice Naqvi observed that many officers of BS-20 in various government departments were getting just Rs150,000 and how this huge salary with the company.  Justice Naqvi sought immediate appearance of the AG but a law officer present in the court said that he was busy.

  The judge also sought details of a government’s summary regarding bulletproof vehicles demanded by Saaf Pani Company. The judge adjourned hearing untill October 4.