LAHORE - The Lahore High Court Monday reserved verdict on petition challenged alleged malpractices of Punjab Textbook Board awarding contract to its own agencies and excluding other publishers from the development and publication of textbooks of class V, VI and VII.

Justice Shams Mehmood Mirza reserved the verdict on petition moved by Ali Brothers Publishers. They argued that by awarding contract to agencies owned by government, the Punjab curriculum textbook board had barred the private publishers from the development of textbooks of class V, VI and VII. He submitted that in the future textbooks of class V, VI, VII would be available at high prices which would make education out of reach from the common man.

He claimed that at present the private publishers were developing the manuscripts and thus the books were available at cheaper prices. He asserted that now by excluding the private publishers there is a likelihood that books would be available at high prices.

He stated that according to national curriculum textbooks and learning materials policy action and plan 2007 it was decided by the federal government that every possible step would be taken to make textbooks available at cheaper prices.

Civil Administration Ordinance challenged: A citizen Monday filed a petition before the LHC challenging the Civil Administration Ordinance 2016 which gave powers to commissioner, deputy commissioner and assistant commissioner by ignoring the local bodies elected representatives of Punjab.

Mehmood Akhtar Naqvi, the petitioner, said that under the impugned ordinance the law and order, police and financial matters were given to commissioners and his subordinates and public representatives were ignored.

 He stated that it amounted to negate democracy at grass root level and also violation of article 140 of the Constitution.

He also submitted that the impugned ordinance was introduced to get favourite result in coming general election.

He stated that earlier the British East India Company had ruled this region through commissioner system. He prayed the court to declare the impugned ordinance as null and void.

CJ notice in student’s stabbing case opposed

Former vice-chairman of Pakistan Bar Council Azam Nazir Tarar on Monday opposed the administrative notice taken by the Lahore High Court Chief Justice regarding proceedings on Khadija Siddique’s stabbing case.

Khadija Siddiqui, a student at a private law college, was allegedly stabbed by her class fellow Shah Hussain on May 3, 2016 near Shimla Hill where she along with driver had gone to pick her younger sister from school.

Addressing a press conference, Tarar said that nobody should influence the trial. The CJ took the notice which was beyond his powers, he added.

“A court trial must not be a media trial. Whenever any such notice is taken, the right of the other party is infringed,” said Tarar while arguing on his stance that the case should be heard normally like other cases.

Opposing the daily-based proceedings of Khadija’s case, he said that his sympathies were with the injured woman but the trial should be the basis of justice.

Earlier, LHC Chief Justice Syed Mansoor Ali shah took notice on administrative side and directed a judicial magistrate to conclude trial within one month.

CJ Shah had sought a report from Lahore district & sessions judge about progress in the case. The chief justice also directed the director general of district judiciary to keep the high court updated with the progress of the case by submitting weekly reports.

Civil Lines police registered a case against the suspect on charges of attempted murder. The suspect, son of Advocate Tanvir Hashmi, is on post arrest bail.