LAHORE - The Supreme Court yesterday dismissed the petition of a retired army major seeking implementation of Border Area Committee’s decision on the allotment of 50-kanals land in civic area.

A division bench, headed by senior puisne judge Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, took up the petition and observed that Border Area Committee cannot allot land to its officers in municipal areas.

During the hearing, the counsel of the ex-Maj Ahmad Ali argued the  committee ordered Provincial Revenue department to allot him the land to his client in civic area but the department concerned did not comply with the order.

He pleaded the court to order the provincial revenue department to comply with the order of the committee.

Additional Advocate General Khawar Ikram Bhatti, representing the Revenue Department, said the committee was against the law. He said the committee can allot land to its officials within five miles of the boarder and not beyond that.  After hearing both sides, the bench dismissed the petition.

Haj case

The Lahore High Court clarified that it did not allow Shia women to perform Haj this year without Mahram (an unmarriageable kin).

Justice Ayesha A Malik took up the petition and directed the Religious Affairs ministry to come up with the name of the officer who enforced the council’s decision allowing women to perform haj with Mahram.

In its clarification, the LHC observed that “Haj Director sought time to produce the record as required by the court on last date of hearing. Deputy Attorney General (DAG) appeared in the court and stated the a list may be provided to them with names of specific female candidates, who have applied for Haj belonging as per the Shia Fiqh, who are not able to go for Haj as per the arguments of the learned counsel for the petitioner.”

The DAG further stated: “Accordingly the department will verify whether there is any provision to facilitate such candidates on the basis of available quota with the tour operators and the prevailing policy.” The judge adjourned the petition until Oct 14.

A citizen had challenged ban on women from performing haj without Mahram and said that there was no bar in Fiqh Jafaria. The petitioner through his counsel Barrister Maqsooma Zahra Bokhari argued that the Shia pilgrims continued to face discriminatory treatment at the hands of the ministry on account of facilities provided for haj.

She pointed out that even a more bizarre issue occurred on the issue of Mahram for Shia women applicants. The counsel stated that the online form for Haj 2016 did not accept application from any woman without a Mahram whether she was aged 45, 60, 80 or whatever Fiqh she belonged to.

The counsel further asked the court to direct the ministry to list/specify and provide the facilities to Shia pilgrims as per their Fiqha. She further asked the court to direct the authorities to specify a quota for Shia pilgrims in order to avoid non-transparent selection of Haj applicants.

First Haj flight On 4th

The first Haj  flight  will take off on August 4 from Hajj terminal Lahore Airport. Online news agency quoted sources as saying that Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif will see off the first flight from Hajj terminal. Department of Religious Affairs has started returning documents to pilgrims however vaccination process in respect of pilgrims is underway.

The department also advised the pilgrims to reach Hajji Camp two days before their proceeding to Saudi Arabia for performance of Haj.

Those pilgrims who have no residential arrangements can stay in the Camp while those who want to stay with their relatives or at their homes will be allowed to do so. It will however be made binding on them to reach haj terminal on time on  the day of their departure.