Minister directed to allot Hajj quota within 24 hours
Posted on 8 months ago
LAHORE: "It is central government that sent large number of jiyalaas to pressurize the court otherwise he should have come alone instead of appearing with the herd of supporters" are the remarks of Lahore High Court (LHC) Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial while hearing Hajj quota case on Tuesday.
The CJ remarked that if they were innocent they would not have come with Qamar Zaman Kaira (Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting), Imtiaz Safdar Warraich (PPP Punjab President), Sardar Ghazanfar (MNA) and many lawyers and activists in the court.
The CJ gave such remarks while hearing hajj quota case wherein Federal Minister for Religious Affairs Syed Khusheed Shah was summoned on the charges of defying court orders given in previous hearing regarding the distribution of hajj quota of 540 pilgrims among new hajj group organizers.
The court had already ordered Religious Ministry to distribute quota among 68 companies but federal secretary said that Syed Khursheed shah, the federal minister was not willing that and he decided to challenge LHC order before the Supreme Court.
On Tuesday, when federal minister Syed Khursheed Shah appeared before the court Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial asked him that federal secretary informed the court that he (federal minister) refused the court orders regarding the distribution of hajj quota, he replied that quota of 190 out of 540 pilgrims was remaining and that would be distributed on merit.
As this, CJ ordered to allot quota of remaining 190 pilgrims to four eligible Hajj Tour Operators within 24 hours and remarked that otherwise the law will take its own course.
Federal Minister said since he took portfolio of the ministry he was committed to give quota purely on merit. He said being a politician he remained under pressure as everyone wanted to get quota. He said on the orders of Balochistan High Court, Sindh High Court and Supreme Court they gave quota to the operators.
CJ said the court has strengthened the hands of the religious ministry as what it wanted was to implement the Hajj Policy 2012 in letter and spirit. He said incompetent officials of the ministry were not ensuring merit. On the orders of the LHC, around Rs71 million income taxes was collected, many defaulter tour operators deposited income tax in millions, the CJ said. He said the court wanted to strengthen the civil institutions and did not want to issue an order which show that the court was getting its orders forcefully implemented.
However Khurshid Shah said out of total 540, now quota of 190 is remaining and sought 3 to day time from the court. Petitioners' counsel Muhammad Azhar Siddique advocate said the minister was just telling and did not want to implement court orders because of his malafied intentions.
Khurshid Shah said he was political man as well as lawyers. At this Siddique objected saying that if he was a lawyer, respect of courts should have been on his priority. Chief Justice said courts wanted to get their decisions implemented. Chief Justice remarked 'If its decisions are not implemented, the law would take its own course'.
CJ rejected the request of the minister and ordered him to issue the quota within 24 hours and sought report about it. The court also directed federal minister to inform court about the details of quota that was given against the court's orders.
Livestock DG corruption case adjourned: Anti-Corruption Court Special Judge Muhammad Salim adjourned on Tuesday till October 15, the hearing of Live Stock and Dairy Development corruption scam when Anti-Corruption failed to submit investigation report. The judge directed counsel of the Anti-Corruption Establishment to produce record on the next date of hearing.
As per details, Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) has accused Punjab Livestock Department's director-general Dr Muhammad Irfan and 12 others for embezzling Rs.478 million. It has been alleged that former Chief Minister Pervaiz Elahi on the request of then MPA Fazal Husain Sumra had issued a directive for the establishment of a milk processing plant at Layyah district.
The project was a joint venture of the Punjab government and Idara-i-Kisan in which the government had to provide 80 per cent funds and 20 per cent by Idara-i-Kisan, manufacturer of pasteurized milk. The project was designed to enhance milk production in four districts including Layyah, Jhang Muzaffargarh and Dera Ghazi Khan in southern Punjab.
The Punjab government had given Rs. 478 million funds provided by an international donor and Idara-i-Kisan was to make a share of Rs120 million along with the managerial control and to implement the project. However, the Idara with the connivance of Livestock and dairy development department officials embezzled the funds.
After preliminary inquiry, the ACE got registered FIR against DG Dr Irfan Zahid, director (sheep and goat farming) Dr Mansoor Ahmed, Dr Abdul Rauf, Idara CEO Ameeruddin Bukhari, district livestock officers of Layyah, Jhang, Muzaffargarh and Dera Ghazi Khan along with other officials of the department
Gulberg TMO sought approved map: The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Tuesday has sought approved map over the construction of Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB)'s wall on next date of hearing fixed as October 22.
Tafazal Hussain Rizvi, the counsel of PCB appeared before the court and submitted that TMO of Gulberg area had approved map for the construction of wall and also had issued notification regarding its construction. The counsel requested the court to direct the authority concerned for the construction of wall.
Upon which the court directed Gulberg TMO to submit map on the next date of hearing on October 22.Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has filed petition and stated that city administration demolished the wall constructed for the security purposes. They said the administration also got arrested their employees and guards. The petitioner requested the court to stop the administration concerned not to interfere into the matter.
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