LAHORE - The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Friday refused to stay an announced ban on mobile services on 9th and 10th of Muharram.

Warid Telecommunication Ltd through Saad Ameer Advocate filed the petition submitting that the federal government had announced to keep close the mobile services throughout the country. He pointed out the interior ministry also issued a notification about ban on mobile services for two days (Saturday and Sunday) citing security threat.

The counsel said due to government’s notification about 120 million subscribers of the company would suffer. He prayed the court to set aside the interior ministry’s notification by declaring it illegal and unlawful.

He also requested the court to restrain the government from taking such steps in future closing the mobile services.

Justice Ijazul Ahsan heard initial arguments and turned down request to immediately restrain the government from closing the mobile services for Saturday and Sunday as well.

The court observed it was a sensitive and security issue, and the court could not issue a stay order without listening the government’s point of view.

The court issued notice to interior ministry and other respondents and sought reply from them on next date of hearing, which would be fixed by registrar’s office.

REPLY SOUGHT: The LHC on Friday sought report from federal and Punjab government on petition seeking enactment of law for protection of witnesses, victims and prosecution and defense lawyers.

Justice Khawaja Imtiaz directed the federal and provincial law officers to seek instructions from concerned departments and then assist the court on next date of hearing.

The judge also directed the counsels to submit the written reply that as to what preventive measures were taken by the governments for protection of the witnesses and others.

Advocate Muhammad Saleem Chaudhry moved the petition submitting that there was no effective system which protects witnesses, victims as well as judges, defense counsels and prosecutors.

He said there should be a strong prosecution system, which should build cases on solid evidence, and it was also needed that a programme should be launched to protest those who testify. The petitioner said there was law in different countries where all witnesses and others are protected.

He prayed the court to direct the authorities concerned to provide protection to witnesses, victims and counsels.

Dismissed: The LHC dismissed a petition seeking disqualification of PML-Q MNA Chaudhry Liaqat Bhatti. Justice Nasir Saeed Sheikh dismissed the petition after the counsel produced verified degree of the lawmaker.

Petitioner Ahmed Waheed Khan had submitted that the MNA participated in the election on the basis of fake graduation degree in 2008. He said according to the Article 62 and 63 of the Constitution the MNA stood disqualified for not being Ameen by concealing the facts.