LAHORE - Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah of Lahore High Court expressed serious concerns over the removal of seven civil judges from their service without any prior notice.

The judge observed that the removal of judges from the services in the way done in civil judges’ case was against the constitution. A law officer requested the judge to give him some time to submit reply. The judge accepted the plea and adjourned the hearing until May 6.

Meanwhile, the LHC sought replies from a member of Punjab Chief Minister Inspection Team and Punjab Chief Secretary in a petition filed by a DIG rank official for not writing his Annual Confidential Report.

Mirza Sahid Saleem Baig, DIG of Prison Department, had filed the petition through his counsel his client’s ACR was not written which was illegal. The counsel stated the absence of ACR affected the smooth process of officers’ promotion.

He prayed to the court to direct the former IG Prison Department Nadeem Kaukab Warraich, presently serving as member of Punjab CM inspection team, to write his ACR.

However, a law officer opposed the arguments of petitioner’s counsel submitting that the ACRs of subordinate officers had been written. After hearing both sides, Justice Shujjat Ali Khan of the LHC sought replies from the Punjab Chief Minister Inspection Team’s member Kaukab Warraich and Punjab Chief Secretary, and adjourned the hearing until June 4.

plea against ban on new sugar mills

While hearing a petition that challenged ban on establishment of new sugar mills and expansion in the existing ones, the Lahore High Court on Thursday sought replies from the federal and Punjab governments.

Ibrahim Sugar Mills’ Chief Executive Officer Umar Farooq filed the petition, submitting the industries department was not allowing him to install a new plant of the mills. His counsel said the government had put a ban on the establishment of new sugar mills and extension by amending Punjab Industries (control on establishment enlargement) Act in 2006.

“The then Punjab governor passed the impugned amendment,” he stated.

He further argued the constitution guaranteed right to do lawful business. The ban imposed by the government violated the fundamental rights protected by the constitution, he added while praying to the court to set aside the ban for being unconstitutional.

After hearing the initial arguments of the petitioner’s counsel, Justice Ibadur Rehman Lodhi issued notices to federal and Punjab government to submit replies. The judge also observed that apparently the ban meant to maintain a monopoly of existing sugar mills.

The court will resume hearing on May 16.