LAHORE - The Lahore High Court on Tuesday imposed fine of Rs50,000 on managing director of Punjab Irrigation & Drainage Authority (PIDA) for not filing reply before the court despite orders in a contempt petition.  The court passed the orders on a petition filed by Muhammad Nadir Khan and 10 other officials of PIDA. The petitioners had sought contempt of court proceedings against the PIDA MD Zahid Saeed and two former MDs for not allowing them to continue discharging their duties despite court’s order.

Counsel for the petitioners, advocate Tipu Salman Makhdoon, submitted before the court that his clients were contractual employees in PIDA who had filed a petition for regularisation of their services in 2012. The court on December 28, 2012 issued notice to the respondents and allowed the petitioners to continue their services. He contended that as per the directions of the court, his clients approached the MD PIDA for performing their duties, he did not allow them to mark their attendance and also denied them salaries from January 2013.  He said they had also submitted many applications to the respondent for obeying the court order but in vain.

He said the respondents by not allowing them to continue their services or letting them perform their duties had violated the court order.  He requested the court to take notice of the department’s response towards the court orders, and to issue directions for initiation of contempt proceedings under Article 204 of the Constitution read with Section 3/5 of the Contempt of Court Ordinance 2003.  The court would resume the hearing of the petition on June 06.

LHC questions efficiency

of power ministry

The Lahore High Court on Tuesday observed that the bigwigs of Ministry of Water and Power were sleeping for 10 years and were unaware about the supply of electricity among the distribution companies. There seemed no management in the distribution companies while dummy people were heading them, the court observed while hearing petitions against unscheduled loadshedding in Punjab. Following the notices, the Joint Secretary of the Ministry and Chief Executive Officer of the Lesco appeared before the court.

The Joint Secretary told the court that the Ministry was trying for betterment in the meter system. When court asked him to tell the court that what quota was being given to power distribution companies from the national grid, the officer was unaware. At this the court observed it was the incompetence on the part of Ministry’s officials that they were unaware about their basic responsibilities. The Ministry’s bigwigs were sleeping for 10 years, the court observed further, adding, there would be corruption and mismanagement in the government departments when there would be no appointments on merit.

The court deferred the hearing till June 19th and directed the Ministry to submit the details about appointments on merit, distribution of electricity and measures for its production on next date of hearing.

 Guard gets death penalty

 An additional district and sessions judge on Tuesday awarded death sentence to Abdul Wahid, a convict involved in murder of a wagon driver. Additional District and Sessions Judge Ch Tariq Javed announced the verdict after hearing the arguments of petitioner and respondent parties. The judge also imposed a fine of Rs 200,000 and ruled that in case of non-payment, the convict will have to spend six more months in prison.

Abdul Wahid – a security guard by profession - was traveling on a wagon. When the wagon reached Muslim Town Morr, he along with other passengers was shifted to another wagon due to some problem. The conductor asked the passengers including Abdul Wahid for fare but he said he had already paid the fare to the previous wagon conductor. Both exchanged hot words and came to blows. The dispute finally ended in death of wagon driver. Muslim Town police, on the request of complainant, registered an FIR against him under Section 302 of Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) and took him in custody.

Meanwhile, the same court ordered to release five accused in a murder case after the both petitioner and respondent parties, struck out of court deal and showed their consent to settle the matter. The accused released by the court were Saleem, Khaleel, Bota, Muneer Ahmad and Naeem.