LAHORE - Justice Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi of the Lahore High Court has dismissed a bail application of a blasphemy accused, Muhammad Yousaf.

Ravi Road Police Station had on March 20, 2013 registered a case against Muhammad Yousaf on the complaint of a Vegetable Market owner.

Representing the blasphemy accused, a renowned human rights activist, Advocate Asma Jahangir argued that the accused was innocent and had falsely been involved in the instant case.

She submitted that the accused was an old and sick person suffering from ‘Bipolar Affective Disorder’

Arguing on behalf of the complainant, Advocate Ghulam Mustafa Chaudhry opposed the contentions argued by Advocate Asma Jahangir and submitted that the same court had already dismissed two bail applications moved by the accused. Citing report of the Medical Superintendent of the Services Hospital, Advocate Ghulam Mustafa submitted that the accused was medically fit. He requested the court to dismiss the bail petition.

The judge after hearing arguments at length, rejected the bail plea.

Court orders inquiry against PU VC, others

Additional District and Sessions Judge Tariq Mehmood Zargham on Tuesday directed the Anti-Corruption Establishment to hold an inquiry against Punjab University Vice-Chancellor Mujahid Kamran and other officials for issuing fake degree to PML-N leader and ex-MNA Sumaira Malik.  Prof Dr Zahid Mehmood, the petitioner, had filed an application through his counsel Aftab Bajwa in the District Sessions Court seeking directions against the Anti-Corruption Establishment to hold an inquiry against PU authorities involved in issuing fake degree to Sumaira Malik.

Citing the inquiry report by FIA officials, the petitioner said Vice-Chancellor Dr Kamran and Controller Examinations Dr Liaqat had issued the degree to Sumaira Mailik.  The petitioner said the FIA was directed by the SC to proceed against PU authorities over the issue but it declined to do so; submitting the Punjab University did not come under its jurisdiction.

However, the petitioner said, he himself asked the Anti-Corruption Establishment but it did not consider his plea and refused an inquiry.

Accepting his plea, the court issued directions to the Anti-Corruption Establishment to hold an inquiry into the matter, and thus, disposed of the petition.

In October last year, a three-member bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, comprising Justice Jawwad S Khawaja and Justice Gulzar Ahmed disqualified Sumaira Malik under Article 62(1) (f) of the Constitution.

The court ruled the PML-N MNA was not qualified to contest the elections in terms of constitutional provisions and she was not holding the office of MNA from constituency 69 with lawful authority, and as a disqualified person had no right to represent the electorate.

In its ruling, the SC said on account of such qualification she would not be entitled to contest the election in future as well, and if she did contest elections and was declared successful, the Election Commission of Pakistan should be bound to de-notify her,” the court ruled in its judgment.

LHC seeks replies from govts

The Lahore High Court on Tuesday sought replies from the Federal and provincial governments within 15 days on a petition seeking the application of Articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution in the screening of the candidates for the Local Bodies elections.

Counsel for the petitioner submitted before the court to direct the Election Commission of Pakistan to make sure that Article 62, which outlines the qualifications a candidate standing for election to Parliament must have, and Article 63, which outlines possible reasons for disqualifying a candidate, are applied to local election candidates.

The petitioner also asked the court to direct the Federal government to explain what instructions, if any, had been relayed to Returning Officers for determining a candidate’s viability.

In particular, he said, it should state whether fake degrees holders, loan defaulters, tax evaders and dual nationals would be barred from running.

LHCBA files plea challenging SC judgment on ouster of judges

The Lahore High Court Bar Association has filed a petition before the Supreme Court challenging its judgment wherein it had ousted judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts who took oath under PCO or were elevated on recommendations of former Chief Justice Abdul Hameed Dogar.

Through Barrister Sayed Ali Zafar, the LHCBA has challenged the scope and applicability of the judgment of the SC in Singh High Court Bar Association case.

In the 60 page petition Barrister Zafar has stated that the LHCBA has a century old tradition in struggling for the rule of law and independence of the judiciary, and its members were active and crucial participants of the movement for the restoration of judiciary in 2007 when Pervez Musharraf restrained former Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry from functioning and promulgated the PCO.

He said that after the restoration of the judges, various judgments were passed by the court particularly, in Sindh High Court Bar Association case, in which the judges of the superior courts were either outright ousted from their offices or had to prematurely resign from their offices in violation of Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973.

He has submitted in the petition that there were two categories of such judges – those who had taken oath under the PCO and those who had been appointed after the restoration of the Constitution.

As regards the first category of the judges, they were forced to resign when the SC initiated contempt proceedings against them while under the Constitution no contempt can be issued by one superior court judge against another superior court judge, he stated.

He argued that this is unconstitutional, and the only action which could be taken against judges is to file proceedings against them for their removal under Article 209 before the Supreme Judicial Council. As far as those judges who had taken oath under the Constitution, these judges were arbitrarily removed by the SC without hearing them and for no fault of theirs as they had not violated any law, he said.

He said the judgment is based on bias and contravenes the provisions of the Constitution so far as the judges were removed without following the due process of law.

He submitted that since the case effects the independence of the judiciary, and the Bar and the Bench have been deprived of eminent members of the judiciary, the LHCBA has a fundamental right in ensuring that relief is given to these judges in accordance with the law and the injustice is removed. He prayed to the court to order restoration of these judges.