LAHORE – The federal government on Thursday requested Lahore High Court to dismiss writ petitions challenging formation of the parliamentary commission for creation of Bhawalpur Janoobi Punjab (BJP) and its recommendations for inclusion of Mianwali in the new province.

The government through Additional Attorney General Abdul Hayee Gilani moved a civil miscellaneous (CM) application requesting to dismiss the petition on the grounds that the internal proceedings of the National Assembly could not be challenged before the court.

“Under Article 69 of the constitution, the internal proceedings of the assembly cannot be challenged in writ jurisdiction before the high court even if the proceedings are irregular,” the CM application added.

The writ petitions were fixed for hearing on Thursday (yesterday), but Justice Muhammad Khalid Mahmood Khan was not available due to which the matter was adjourned for March 11.

Previously, the court had observed no resolution of the National Assembly regarding the formation of the parliamentary commission was in records.

Two days ago, the Senate had adopted 24th amendment bill for creation of the BJP in Punjab in absences of the opposition parties led by PML-N in NA.

Reply sought: The LHC sought reply from the Punjab government on a petition seeking exclusion of employees of lower judiciary from rules and regulations of Civil Servants Act, 1973, and payment to them about three times judicial allowance of basic salary as being paid to employees of higher and superior judiciary.

Abdul Malik and Skhawat Ali moved the petition through their counsel by submitting that the judiciary had been separated from the country’s administration, and now it was an independent state organ under Article 175 of the Constitution. Despite that, the staff of provincial lower judiciary was still under the control of Punjab government controlling their administrative and financial affairs, the counsel submitted.

On court query, an assistant advocate general informed the court that the Punjab government paid salaries to lower judiciary employees.

At this, Justice Mansoor Ali Shah observed that the appointments and salaries to staff in district judiciary should be under control of the LHC as the judiciary is a separate state organ under Article 203 and 208 of the constitution. Justice Mansoor Ali Shah heard initial arguments and sought reply from the government till March 25. The judge also directed the Punjab Advocate General to appear and assist the court on the matter.

plea against president: A full bench of the LHC, would resume hearing on a contempt of court petition against President Asif Ali Zardari for not complying with a judgment asking him to leave the office of co-chairman of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), today (Friday). Previously, the full bench headed by Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial had directed Advocate Wasim Sajjad, counsel of the federal government, to obtain clear instructions from the President whether he was willing to refrain from indulging in political activities in public arena or not.

Earlier, the petitioner Munir Ahmed through his counsel AK Dogar had also submitted various press clippings before the five-judge full bench showing the political activities of the President in various cities of the country.

Besides the chief justice, Justice Nasir Saeed Sheikh, Justice Sheikh Najamul Hassan, Justice Ijazul Ahsan and Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah are other members of the full bench.

The petitioner had submitted the President had neither disassociated himself from political office as expected by the LHC full bench in its decision against president’s dual office.

Hafiz Saeed case: The LHC adjourned the hearing on petition moved by Jamatud Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed seeking directions for the federal government to provide him legal assistance before an American court like done with former chief of ISI and others. The court adjourned the hearing as amicus curie Ahmer Bilal Soofi Advocate could not appear before the court for being busy in Supreme Court. The court would take up the petition on March 29.

Legal car financings: The Lahore High Court on Thursday widened the scope of car finance facility for its officers and judges of district judiciary. The car leasing scheme is being supervised by a Committee consisting of Justice Ijazul Ahsan and Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah.

With latest modifications in entitlement plan, officers would get 800 to 1300CC cars of white or black colour of specific companies, said a handout issued here on Thursday.

“This step will enable the Judicial Officers, having no conveyance of their own, to reach their place of duty in a dignified and respectable manner.”

In first category LHC officers in BS-17 to 19 and senior/civil judges will be entitled to apply for 800 to 1300 CC Suzuki (Mehran, Cultus & Swift), Toyota (XLI), the handout says.

In second category, it adds, LHC officers in BS-20 and additional district & sessions judges can apply for 800 to 1300 CC Suzuki (Mehran, Cultus & Swift), Toyota (XLI & GLI). While, in third category LHC officer in BS-21 and sessions judges can opt for 800 to 1300 CC Suzuki (Mehran, Cultus & Swift), Toyota (XLI & GLI), Honda (City).