LAHORE - The Lahore High Court Saturday set aside the notification of the interior ministry to suspend licences of automatic weapons. Dozens of arms licence holders had filed petitions challenging the ministry’s notification terming it unlawful.

Barrister Ali Zafar, the lead counsel for the petitioners, had argued that the government suspended licences of all automatic weapon holders within prohibited bore with the exception that only the law enforcing agencies could keep automatic weapons/licences.

He said the government also directed the licence holders to convert their automatic weapons into non-automatic weapons, apply for new licences and deposit their automatic weapons along with Rs50,000 per automatic rifle and Rs20,000 per automatic pistol/handgun with the concerned authorities.

Barrister Zafar argued that the notification was unlawful as it was issued by section officer arms with the approval of the ministry of interior without obtaining any approval from the cabinet. Justice Shahid Karim allowed the petitions and set aside the impugned notification issued by the ministry on Dec 12, 2017.

Plea against dar Dismissed

A Division Bench of the Lahore High Court Saturday dismissed an appeal against the candidature of finance minister Ishaq Dar for the Senate election being held today (Saturday). Nawazish Ali Pirzada, a PPP candidate in the election, had questioned the decision the appellate tribunal has earlier passed to allow Dar to contest the senate election upsetting the rejection order of the returning officer. The bench comprising Justice Abid Aziz Sheikh and Justice Jawad Hassan  observed that the prima facie the petitioner was not an aggrieved party as he failed to challenge the nomination papers of the respondent before the returning officer. However, the bench said the petitioner could approach election tribunal for the required relief after the election.

Case against Musharraf

The LHC directed a petitioner to present copy of a decision by the ECP declaring former president Pervez Musharraf disqualified to contest 2013 general election. Justice Shahid Karim was hearing a petition moved by Advocate Muhamamd Afaq seeking removal of former military dictator as president of his political party –All Pakistan Muslim League (APML). He contended that Musharraf could not hold a political party since he was disqualified to contest 2013 general election.