LAHORE – The destiny of at least 65 environment protection cases may be decided soon, as the Lahore High Court Chief Justice has established Green Benches to hear environmental issues, some of them pending for the last five years or so.

It is first time in the history of the Pakistan’s judiciary that such instant effort has been made to hear the environmental issues and other environmental interest litigation.

As per the notification issued here on Friday, LHC Justice Mansoor Ali Shah has been nominated to hear environmental cases at single bench while a division bench comprising Justice Shah and Justice Shujaat Ali Khan.

 The senior most judges of LHC would hear such cases at respective benches. Chief Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed has also declared the courts of civil judges and district and sessions judges as Green Courts to hear the all the cases under the Pakistan Environmental Protection Act, 1997.

The LHC CJ has also directed to transfer such cases from the courts of additional district and sessions and civil judges to Green Courts immediately.

The decision for establishing the Green Court has been taken in a meeting headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry. The meeting was held at Murree was also attended by Chief Justices of all four high courts. It was decided in the meeting that like other public interest litigations the judiciary would now take the matters of environmental in order to relief the masses.

According to a LHC report, at least 65 cases related to the environmental issues are pending at the Lahore for the last five years or so.

Reports sought from NCA regarding bogus exams: The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Friday sought report from National College of Arts and Punjab Secretary Education seeking formation of inquiry commission to probe bogus supplementary exams allegedly conducted to pass only six blue-eyed students and termination of the lecturer from the service who denied passing them.

Justice Khalid Mahmood Khan ordered the respondents to file the report within two weeks.

A local namely Sohail Zahid Butt filed the petition challenging the supplementary exam and removal of the lecturer.

He submitted that the NCA administration had conducted bogus supplementary exams to pass Sana Malik, daughter of former NCA director Naseer Malik, and her five friends namely Imran Rasheed, Khurram Shehzad, Fakhra Gul, Kinza Malik and Babar Shehzad Malik. He alleged that these students failed in earlier exams because of their incompetency. The petitioner pointed out that Hammad Hussain, the lecturer, was removed from his services when he denied passing these blue-eyed students in supplementary exams.

He requested to form a commission to unearth the truth and probe the whole episode. He also asked to seal the record of the results and stop its announcement till the final verdict as there had been reports that NCA administration was attempting to conduct another supplementary exam to pass these six students.

After recording the initial arguments, Justice Khalid Mahmood Khan sought report within two weeks.