LAHORE - The Lahore High Court yesterday summoned wildlife department secretary to explain as why members of Qatar’s royal family were allowed hunting of Houbara Bustard .

Chief Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah held the proceeding and adjourned hearing until today. During the proceedings, a law officer appeared in the court on behalf of the Punjab government but he could not submit details about Punjab cabinet’s approval regarding hunting of Houbara Bustard in South Punjab. 

Wildlife Department’s Secretary also could not appear in the court. At this, Chief Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah summoned the secretary for today (Thursday) with directions to him to explain as to why and how the members of the Qatar’s royal family were allowed hunting of such rare kind of bustard family birds in Punjab. The chief justice also asked the law officer that whether the permission of hunting Houbara bustard was granted simply due to the wish of the foreigners.  The counsel of the petitioner said that permission of hunting of Houbara Bustard was equal to killing them at all. He also said that it was against the international level agreements while permission to Royal Qatari family was given without the approval of provincial cabinet – which was unlawful. The petitioner’s counsel prayed the court to set aside permission granted to the royal family and the authorities be directed to explain as why and how they allowed hunting of such rare kind of bustard family birds.

More arguments sought in plea

against PM

The Lahore High Court yesterday directed both sides to come up with more arguments on a petition filed by Justice Democratic Party of former CJP Iftikhar Muhammad Ch seeking disqualification of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

During the hearing, Salman Butt, the lawyer of the government, opposed the petition saying that it does not come under the jurisdiction of the LHC. The matter in question took place in Islamabad and the petitioner belonged to Baluchistan instead of Punjab, he said.  The counsel pleaded that the petitioner should be directed to approach the relevant forum. Hamid Khan, the counsel of the petitioner, however, opposed the arguments of the respondent PM’s counsel saying that National Assembly speaker lost to biasness while dismissing reference filed against the PM.

The NA speaker must be unbiased but by his act he proved that he was not, said the counsel of the petitioner. He also said the speaker was bound to send the reference to ECP within the period of 30 days but he did not send it and thus he did not do his duty.

After hearing both sides, the chief justice sought more arguments and adjourned hearing until Dec 26.