LAHORE - The Lahore High Court (LHC) chief justice on Tuesday granted two weeks to the Punjab government and the district administration to set criteria for imposing a ban on sheesha smoking at open places.
The petitioner, through his counsel Shehzad Shaukat, told the court that the government launched a crackdown on sheesha cafes, seriously damaging the business. He said smoking was not banned at every place and the use of sheesha was neither harmful nor prohibited thus there was no justification for taking such an action.
He said the petitioner had designated places for smoking in the restaurants while smoking sheeha was allowed at open space in the restaurants. And, he added that the government couldn’t seal a restaurant since it didn’t have set criteria for doing so. He requested the court that the government should be restrained from adopting such measures.
Representing the provincial government, Additional Advocate General Muhammad Hanif Khattan said according to laws, smoking was prohibited at restaurants as well as it was banned on public palaces.He said smoking sheesha was harmful to health while it was “becoming a cause to increase immoral activities among boys and girls”. He appealed to the count to bar smoking sheesha even in open places. However, the government’s counsel couldn’t produce any law disallowing smoking sheesha at open spaces.
He sought time for submitting the relevant laws. The chief justice accepted his request and deferred hearing until October 18. The chief justice also asked the government’s counsel to come up with complete definition of open space. The court directed the district administration to reopen the building of petitioner if he gives undertaking for not conducting smoking activities till the final decision.
SUSPENSION STAYED: The Lahore High Court (LHC) cancelled the suspension orders of an additional director issued by the Lahore Electric Supply Company (Lesco) Chief Executive Officer.
Khalid Mahmood Nasir filed the petition, saying Lesco CEO Zia Latif had issued a notification replacing him with senior manager Arshad Rafiue, though Latif didn’t have authority to do so after his appointment as the Lesco chief had been suspended by the LHC.
He said Latif was appointed on a political basis by the Ministry of Water and Power that also havn’t authority to appoint him. He pointed out that only Lesco board of directors could appoint an officer as its chief executive. He requested the court to declare null and vide his suspension orders. Justice Muhammad Khalid Mahmood Khan heard initial arguments and suspended the notification. The court also issued notice to respondents including Latif for October 16 and sought replies from them.
29 cases sent to drug courts: Out of 60 cases of spurious, substandard and unregistered drugs, Provincial Quality Control Board has decided to send 29 to drug courts and registration of FIR with police against 12.
Decision was taken at a meeting held here on Tuesday with Secretary Health Arif Nadeem in the chair. PQCB directed to issue warning to four medical stores for poor arrangements while deferred 15 cases till the next meeting. Additional Secretary Health (Technical) Dr Anwar Janjua, Prof Mehboob Rabbani, Prof Naveed Iqbal, Prof Arif Siddiqui and others attended the meeting.