LAHORE - The Lahore High Court yesterday directed the Punjab Food Authority (PFA) to submit reply on a petition challenging sale of substandard bottled drinking water.

Barrister Zafarullah Khan of Watan Party had moved the petition submitting that plastic bottles carrying water were made of polyethylene terephathalate which also known as Pet or Pete. He stated that use of these plastic bottled for water also cause damage to testosterone levels and leads women suffer from the risk of miscarriage. The counsel said that bottled water also causes damage to the natural hormonal messaging system.

He alleged that people in the country were drinking in fact tap water in the name of bottled water as the companies supplying bottled water did not paste labels showing the origin of water. The counsel requested the court to order the authorities concerned to get the bottled water tested from reliable laboratories before their sale in the markets.

After hearing his arguments, Justice Ayesha A Malik sought reply from the food authority and adjourned the hearing for a week.

PAT counsels complete arguments in Model Town clash case

Pakistan Awami Tehreek’s lawyers yesterday completed their arguments on a private complaint before an-anti-terrorism court against the suspects of Model Town incident in which 14 people lost their lives and 100 others got injured. It took around 10 months to the PAT counsels to conclude their arguments since the complaint was moved to the ATC on March 16, 2016. As many as 56 witnesses recorded their statements and more than 10 video evidences were presented before the court which showed the whole incident in and outside Idara Minhajul Quran in Model Town.

In his statement, Khurram Nawaz Gandapur, who is now a court absconder, also recorded his statement, saying that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif and other leaders of the party called him and one Fayyaz to their residence at H Block-Model Town and asked them to stop Dr Tahirul Qadri from coming to Pakistan. He recorded his statement after getting bail from the court.

On the last day of the proceedings, the ATC judge asked the counsels of the complainants that why they filed private complaint so late from the date on which the incident took place. The counsels replied that they tried their best to lodge the FIR against the suspects of the incident who mainly were the leaders of the ruling party and then faced problems in lodging it.

Even after registration of FIR, they said, the police investigation was not fair enough, and during this time, the government constituted JIT and got its report prepared. The counsels added that in their FIR no 696, two police officials and legal heirs of the victims of the incidents were declared as responsible for the whole incident. These hurdles, they stated, were created by the government authorities, which caused them delay in filing the private complaint about the incident.

The court, after hearing the arguments of the complainant’s counsels, reserved the verdict which hopefully would be announced during the first week of February.

On Jan 17 three years ago, 14 people lost their lives and 100 others fell injured when clash erupted between police and workers of the Pakistan Awami Tehreek outside Idara Minhajul Quran in Model Town over issue of barricades.

Talking to The Nation, the PAT leadership said they would like to request the court to summon PM Nawaz Sharif, Punjab CM Shehbaz Sharif and other leaders of the ruling party. Because, they said, they were the real suspects of the case instead of police constables whom they did not want in trouble.