LAHORE - The Lahore High Court on Friday sought personal appearance of the Pakistan Railway’s general manager on a contempt of court petition filed by Jhoolay Lal Council.The council through president Tariq Abbas submitted that a coach was booked to take devotees to Sehwan Sharif for attending the annual Urs of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar last year. However, the petitioner said despite payment, the railways failed to provide the coach. The petitioner pointed out the department handed a bogus cheque when the issue was raised with authorities. He said the court had also directed the railways to pay back the money of the council but to no avail. Petitioner requested the court to initiate contempt of court proceedings against the railways. Justice Khalid Mahmood Khan heard the arguments and directed the railways GM to appear in person on Feb 19.REPLY SOUGHT: The LHC sought reply from federal government and State Bank of Pakistan on a petition challenging insertion of 489-G, a new section, in Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) about counterfeiting or using documents resembling national prize bonds or their unauthorized sale.Justice Ayesha A Malik directed the respondents to file reply until February 18.Saiful Allah and other members of All Pakistan Prize Bond Dealer Association moved the petition through Advocate Imran Chadharr.The counsel submitted police and Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) were conducting raids on business shops of petitioners under the cover of newly added section, 489-G.He said the petitioners were doing business after obtaining licences from the federal government. But, the law enforcement agencies were harassing the petitioners illegally and unlawfully.Following court notices, police and FIA officials appeared and informed the court that they were not conducting raids on the petitioners’ shops.The court will resume hearing on February 18.DENIAL: The third plea to stop the long march announced by Dr Tahirul Qadri has also been turned down by the LHC and the judge referred the petition to the chief justice for further proceedings.Earlier, the Islamabad and Lahore High Court had denied from staying the Qadri’s long march that has intensified the country’s politics. The third petition was filed by Pakistan Lawyers Forum’s Advocate AK Dogar who submitted Dr Qadri was not a citizen of Pakistan, therefore, he should not be allowed to hold long march. Petitioner pleaded that the march being taken out by a foreign national will cause instability in the country and invite undemocratic forces to take benefit of the situation. He requested the court to issue a restraining order against the Qadri’s long march. Justice Nasir Saeed Sheikh heard the arguments and refused to issue the stay order and forwarded the petition to Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial for further hearing. On the other hand, Barrister Javed Iqbal Jaffrey filed a writ petition in the LHC saying fool proof security should be provided to the participants of the Qadri’s long march to be held on Jan 14.  The petitioner said holding of peaceful protest was a constitutional right of every citizen which could not be usurped in any case. He said Federal Minister for Interior Rehman Malik should be asked to disclose the proofs of likely terrorist attack on the Qadri’s long march. He requested the court to order the federal government to ensure complete security for the long march.

This news was published in The Nation newspaper. Read complete newspaper of 12-Jan-2013 here.