LAHORE - The Lahore High Court yesterday ordered the Punjab government to make Environment Protection Council (EPC) functional within two-month period. After issuing order, the court disposed of the petition.

Advocate Ahmad Qayyum, the secretary of the Lahore High Court Bar Association (LHCBA), had filed the petition against the non-functional of the ECP. The lawyer-petitioner pointed out that environmental pollution has spread everywhere and now the citizens are not getting clean drinking water and clean air to breathe which is the violation of basic human rights.

Qayyum contended that EPC was made two years back and it was mandatory for it to hold at least two of its sessions in a year but since then it could not hold even a single session to discuss environmental pollution and its solutions.

The petitioner stated that environmental problems cannot be solved in the absence of EPC. He prayed the court to order the government to make it functional.

Reply sought from ECP: The Lahore High Court yesterday sought reply from the Election Commission of Pakistan in a petition filed against unopposed appointment of Khawaja Ahmad Hassan of PML-N as chairman of Union Council 107.

Aziz Masood, a voter of the UC, filed the application against the election of Khawaja Ahmad Hassaan. The petitioner stated that the respondent had already held a public office as vice chairman of Lahore Development Authority and also had got involved with local government administration by being a director of Lahore Waste Management Company.

He pleaded that Section 27 of the Local Government Act 2013 states that a person who was in the service of a statutory body controlled by a provincial government was not eligible to contest the election of local bodies. He prayed the court to set aside his appointment. After hearing initial arguments, Justice Shahid Karim issued notice to ECP for Nov 11.

Last chance for govt: The Lahore High Court yesterday gave last chance to the federal and Punjab government to submit their replies in a petition seeking directions for the enforcement of Article 25 of the Constitution and provision of free education to the children up to the age of 16.

Justice Sajid Mehmood Sethi of the LHC passed the order on the petition filed by Judicial Activism Penal Chairman Azhar Siddique. The court put off further hearing until Oct 16.

In his petition, the lawyer had submitted that the free and equal education for all children is the responsibility of the state under Article 25 of the Constitution. The petitioner’s counsel said but the government was spending public money on other projects like metro bus and Orange Train.

“The parents are forced to pay double fee for their children’ education,” he said and submitted the private schools were looting the general public but the government authorities were not taking any action.

He prayed the court to order the government to suspend the notification of the private schools which were charging double fee from the students. He also pleaded the court to order the government to provide free and equal education to all the students.