LAHORE - A full bench of the Lahore High Court on Thursday restrained National Accountability Bureau (NAB) from taking any action against any of 35 loan defaulter companies. The bench headed by Justice Ijazul Ahsan was hearing identical petitions of Tanveer Spinning Mills and others. Justice Muhammad Khalid Mahmood Khan and Justice Ayesha A Malik are also member of the full bench.
The petitioner companies through Shahid Ikram Siddiqi submitted that they took loan from Bank of Punjab amounting to Rs 400 million. The counsel said the bank had filed a suit for recovery of loan against them which was still pending before a banking court. But, the bank complained against them to the State Bank of Pakistan which sent its recommendations to NAB for filing reference against them under section 31-D of NAB Ordinance, the counsel submitted adding the bank also had sent show cause notices to them.
The counsel pointed out that the petitioner companies could not be proceeded against under such provisions of the NAB ordinance when civil suits against them for recovery are pending before the banking courts.
Any inquiry, legal proceedings or filing references against them before the NAB was illegal and unconstitutional, the counsel added. He requested the court to stop NAB from inquiry and proceedings on the references. The bench heard initial arguments and restrained the NAB from taking any adverse action against the petitioner companies until March 14, the next date of hearing.
REPLY SOUGHT: The LHC again sought reply from the Punjab health secretary on a petition moved by pharmacists seeking contempt proceedings against the functionary for violating court’s order about regularization of their services.
Around 30 pharmacists filed the contempt petition and submitted that they were appointed after qualifying Punjab Public Service Commission examination. They said a single bench of the LHC had directed the government to regularize them; however, the health department challenged the order through an appeal.
A division bench had dismissed the appeal but the department did not implement the order of the single bench. They requested the court initiate contempt proceedings against the health secretary for not complying with the court’s order.
Previously, the secretary was asked to submit his reply, however, no body turned up from the government’s side and the chief justice again issued notice for March 12.
HEARING DEFERRED: The LHC deferred further proceedings on petitions against constitution of parliamentary commission for formation of Bahawalpur Janoobi Punjab (BJP) province until February 18. Justice Khalid Mahmood Khan heard partial arguments, and adjourned the hearing when Additional Attorney General Abdul Hayee Gilani intimated the court that he was not provided with the civil miscellaneous applications filed by the petitioners. On Thursday, Advocate Azhar Siddique, petitioners counsel, advanced his arguments by saying that the commission was illegally constituted by the president through an illegal letter to the deputy speaker of the national assembly.
When he started reading the presidential letter before the court, the judge pointed out that the letter was addressed to the deputy speaker but in the middle it is addressing to the “Madam Speaker” which made no sense. In the middle of proceedings, the petitioners’ counsel and additional attorney general exchanged harsh words when he tried to intervene when they were arguing the case.
However, the judge resolved the matter by asking all other counsels to have seats except Siddique, who was arguing the case.
A group lawyers had challenged the formation of parliamentary commission and its recommendations for inclusion of Mianwali district into proposed BJP. The petitioners had contended that neither the constitution nor the rules of business allowed the national assembly speaker to form a commission on new provinces’ subject.
Reply sought: The Lahore High Court on Thursday sought reply from the Punjab government on a petition of the Young Doctors Association (YDA) seeking action against the authorities involved in torture on doctors and their eight-hour detention without registration of any case.
Advocate Noshab A Khan, the YDA’s counsel asked the court to make a judicial commission for investigation into the matter. He submitted that city police at the behest of the Punjab government ransacked a peaceful hunger strike camp staged by the young doctors outside the Services Hospital, Jail Road on February 10.
The counsel submitted police severely tortured not only male but also the female doctors without any discrimination. He further contended many of the doctors sustained injuries and were admitted to hospital.
Police also arrested the doctors and kept them in illegal detention at North Cantonment police station for eight hours without registration of any FIR.
He requested the court to order a judicial inquiry of the incident and bringing to the book the responsible authorities.
Representing provincial government, law officer Faisal Zaman submitted that the doctors were leaving patients un-attended and coming to the roads. He said on February 10 the doctors tried to create unrest by hindering the way of the diplomats of different countries who were invited at the inauguration ceremony of Metro Bus Service in the city. He said in such a situation how the district government can remain silent.
Justice Ijazul Ahsan put off hearing till February 22 after seeking the reply.
The judge remarked that the court would determine that who had crossed the limits of the law.