LAHORE - The Lahore High Court Wednesday directed the Punjab government to come up with compliance report on implementation of anti-smoking law at both public places and educational institutions.

Justice Ali Akbar Qureshi passed the order on a petition filed by Azhar Siddique seeking directives for the government authorities for implementation of “Prohibition of Smoking and Protection of non-Smokers Health Ordinance, 2002”.

During the proceedings, additional secretary for schools appeared before the court and said the department has started implementing anti-smoking laws in schools and relevant places. The court held that selling tobacco or smoking within 50 metres of the school buildings was open violation of the law. The court directed the Punjab government and heads of all educational institutions to implement the anti-smoking law in letter and spirit.

Arguing before the court, lawyer-petitioner Azhar Siddique said that government authorities could not enforce the law despite a previous order of the court. He said sale of cigarettes continued openly in schools, colleges and universities across the province. He said no person could smoke or use tobacco in any other form in any place of public work or use. The lawyer said that sale, distribution of cigarettes or any other smoking substance or any other tobacco products within 50 metres from any educational institution was banned under the law.

He said that students at educational institutions had been facing serious health problems due to non-implementation of the anti-smoking law. The petitioner asked the court to order the government authorities to ensure enforcement of the law.

After hearing the arguments of the counsel, Justice Qureshi directed the Punjab government to come up with the compliance report and adjourned the hearing until Nov 7.

Taking up a petition regarding helmet use across the province, the inspector general of police submitted a compliance report to the Lahore High Court Wednesday.

“The court order must be implemented in letter and spirit,” Justice Ali Akbar Qureshi remarked while hearing the case. The judge also directed the police officials to equally comply with the court orders regarding helmet use.

Siddique who had moved the petition objected to the IGP’s report saying that the court order was not being implemented in various cities. He said Gujranwala, Faisalabad and Sargodha were the cities where the helmet order was not being implemented.

At this, Justice Qureshi sought appearance of the CTOs of these cities and also the secretary health along with reports on the next date of hearing, Nov 2.