LAHORE – Haj Operations Director Malik Saeed informed the Lahore High Court (LHC) on Wednesday that the Ministry of Religious Affairs had finalised four new Haj Group Organisers (HGOs) for allotment quota of 190 pilgrims in view of the court’s directions.

The director appeared before the court and submitted a compliance report stating the ministry had selected four HGOs for allotting quota and their names would be forwarded to Saudi Arabia.

Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial recorded the statement of the Haj director and directed the ministry to complete the process and submit a final report in the court.

Federal Minister Syed Khursheed Shah had appeared before the court on Tuesday and given the undertaking that the court orders would be obeyed.

Many new HGOs had filed the contempt petitions seeking contempt proceedings against Shah and the ministry officials. They submitted that due to unjust distribution of Haj quota among private tour operators, it had become impossible for a common operator to bear the Haj expenses.

They said the Haj Policy had been sent to the federal government for approval, and a plan had been made to dish out the quota on personal like and dislike. They pointed out that last year ministry and 726 tour operators had pleaded that money had been received from pilgrims and their lists had been sent to Saudi Arabia.

Also, the LHC on Wednesday sought reply from Punjab Police Inspector General on a contempt petition moved by 18 head constables of the department seeking promotion.

Head constable Zafar Iqbal and others filed the petition and submitted they were promoted as Assistant Sub Inspector (ASI) in 2010 in view of shoulder promotion and they served in the department as ASI for whole year. However, their promotion was reversed by the department without giving any show cause notice.

They contended the high court had in July directed the department official to consider their cases of promotion. But the department’s high ups refused from giving them promotion which was violation of court orders, they added.

Instead of giving promotion, the department officials had given threats of dire consequences to them when they approached the high ups for their promotion.

The requested the court to direct the IGP Habibur Rehman to promote the petitioners, and initiate contempt proceedings against him if he denied promotion. Justice Ayehsa A Malik heard initial arguments and issued notice to the IGP seeking reply until November 1.

Also, the LHC on Wednesday issued notice on an intra court appeal of Lahore Electric Supply Company (Lesco) Chief Executive Officer Zia Latif challenging his suspension through a judicial order passed by a single bench.

A two member bench comprising Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial and Justice Ayesha A Malik issued notice for Oct 4 (today) and directed Attiqur Rehman, a superintendent engineer, on whose writ petition appointment of Latif as Lesco chief was suspended by the single bench.

The appellant in his appeal submitted that the single bench passed the order in haste and without taking the facts of the case into account. He stated that the order of his suspension should be set aside being illegal.

A single bench comprising Justice Khalid Mahmood Khan had suspended the notification of Zia Latif’s appointment as Lesco CEO. The superintendent engineer had submitted in his petition that the ministry of water and power appointed Zia on contract basis in violation of rules and regulations.