LAHORE - The Lahore High Court on Tuesday ordered the Lahore Development Authority to immediately de-seal offices of the Free Media Foundation, an institution for training of journalists, in Shadman Colony.

The court also directed the LDA DG to present a detailed report on the issue on Sept 13.

Justice Sajid Mehmud Bhatti gave the decision on a petition filed by Free Media Foundation Executive Director Imtiaz Alam.

The LDA had recently sealed the premises, arguing that commercial activity could not be allowed in a residential area.

The petitioner’s counsel stated before the court that the LDA action amounted to closing down the institution for journalists’ training and curbing the press freedom. Imtiaz Alam praised the LHC decision as historic.

Meanwhile, an accountability court on Tuesday declared former chief minister Shehbaz Sharif’s son-in-law Imran Ali Yousaf a proclaimed offender.

The NAB had moved the court with the allegation that the accused had repeatedly been summoned in connection with the Punjab Power Company case, but he failed to turn up. The anti-graft body further said that the accused had slipped abroad after which the NAB chairman had issued his arrest warrants.

FIRDAUS AWAN’s PLEA: The Lahore High Court on Tuesday dismissed as not maintainable a petition filed by PTI leader and former federal minister Firdaus Ashiq Awan seeking vote recount in NA-72, Sialkot, where she lost to PML-N’s Armaghan Subhani.

She had alleged that her polling agents were not given Form 45 and that the PML-N workers had cast bogus votes. She had also argued that the returning officer had dismissed her recount plea.

Ashiq had sought stay against the victory notification of the PML-N candidate.

The same judge ordered the Election Commission of Pakistan to decide the petition of PPP leader Faisal Saleh Hayat.

The petitioner, a former federal minister, had sought vote recount in NA-114 (Jhang), where he lost to the PTI nominee.

The LHC also took up a petition against PML-N leader Rana Sanaullah Khan, saying that he should be disqualified for his remarks before the July 13 return of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif from London to Lahore.

Rana, former Punjab law minister, was reported to have said that welcoming the former premier would be as rewarding as hajj.

Dr Nisar Ahmed, who was defeated by Rana from NA-106 (Faisalabad), had contended that the former law minister had ridiculed Islamic provisions by likening the role in welcoming Nawaz Sharif to performance of hajj. Also, he said, the statement violated the Constitution.The LHC stayed the victory notification of Rana Sana and issued a notice to the ECP.