LAHORE - The Lahore High Court Wednesday cautioned the federal government to stop the Prime Minister Youth Loan Scheme if it failed to come up with legal justification on next hearing, on a petition challenging appointment of Maryam Nawaz Sharif as chairperson of the scheme.

Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah of the LHC was hearing the case. The judge expressed serious concerns over unimportance showed by the federal government.

As the proceedings commenced, a law officer representing the federal government appeared in the court but he was without the answer asked earlier by the court. However, the law officer requested the judge to give a chance to submit reply.

Justice Shah allowed his request with directions to come up with legal justification; otherwise, he warned that the chairperson might be summoned on the next hearing. The court adjourned further proceedings until November 10.

Zubair Khan Niazi of PTI had challenged her appointment through his counsel Advocate Sheraz Zaka. The petitioner’s counsel argued that the government had issued a notification on November 22, 2013 regarding the appointment of Maryam Nawaz, as chairperson of Prime Minister on Youth Loan Program. He contended that the appointment was made in violation of law as no proper way of appointment was adopted.

He said the Prime Minister violated Article 91(5) of the Constitution by concealing the fact.  He further said prior consultation with Council of common interest was mandatory under the law but the appointment was made without following the said procedure. He said Maryam's appointment was also done in violation of Anita Trab's case wherein Supreme Court had laid down procedure and criteria for making appointments. SC had ruled that all appointments would be made on merit and in transparent manner.

The counsel prayed to the court to set aside appointment of Maryam Nawaz Sharif as Chairperson Prime Minister Youth Loan Program. He requested the court to restrain Maryam from working till the final disposal of main petition.

In another case, Justice Shams Mahmood Mirza of the LHC issued notice to PMYLP secretary and First Women Bank on a petition seeking directions for sanctioning loan in her name on Wednesday.,

Shumaila, a resident of Shahdara Town had filed the petition and submitted that she had requested the PMYLP to sanction her loan to build a school in her town. She said she was asked by the authorities to make and submit a feasibility report. The petitioner said that she made and submitted a feasibility report before the authorities concerned and spent Rs 300,000 on its preparation but the authorities did not sanction loan in her name. The petitioner pleaded the court to direct the authorities concerned to sanction loan in her favor so she could build a school in Shahdara