LAHORE - The Lahore High Court on Wednesday allowed bail to former vice chancellor of Punjab University Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran and three other teachers in a case of illegally  making appointments.

A division bench headed by Justice Ali Baqar Najafi asked the accused persons/petitioners to deposit two surety bonds of Rs500,000 each for their release on bail in the case investigated by the NAB. The other petitioners include former registrar Prof Dr Liaqat Ali and two additional registrars Prof Dr Aurangzaib Alamgir and Prof Dr Kamran Abid.

During hearing of bail matter, the bench also reprimanded the officials of the NAB for putting handcuffs on the professors when they were produced before the trial court.

However, a NAB prosecutor told the bench that the bureau had already tendered an apology before the Supreme Court in this regard.

Meanwhile, lawyers of the petitioners argued that the allegations against their clients were baseless. They said all the appointments in the Punjab University had been made strictly in accordance with law and due approval of the syndicate. They pointed out that a sitting judge of the LHC and a Punjab Assembly’s member were permanent part of the syndicate. Therefore, there could be no possibility of any illegal act in the university, they added. The lawyers asked the court to release their clients on bail. NAB prosecutor opposed the bail petitions, however, failed to give satisfactory answers to queries of the bench. After hearing both sides, the bench granted bail to the petitioners and issued their release orders

Kiln owners  approach  court against govt

Justice Muzamil Akhtar Shabir of the Lahore High Court Wednesday sought a reply from the Punjab Environmental Protection Authority to the petitions challenging the order of the respondent on closing down the brick kilns on the charges smog and polluting air.

Brick-kiln owners filed the petition contending that the authorities closed down their kilns whereof their business.  They argued the constitution does not permit anyone to close others business in the garb of allegations.

Justice Muzamil asked the petitioner if they could guarantee their business does not create smog.

Justice Muzamil made clear that they could not deprive the citizens of their rights to life by allowing smog-emitting brick kilns to operate.

The petitioners counsel told the court that brick kilns were closed down on allegations of creating smog and polluting air.

They contended authority’s order of closing the brick kilns is not justified and it may kindly be set aside. They also prayed the court that an order be passed to restore their brick kilns.

A couple of days ago, another citizen Munir Ahmad also filed a petition in LHC seeking direction for government to taking immediate steps to control smog in Punjab.

The citizen contends through his counsel that Lahore is among ten most polluted cities. He states that air pollution causes serious health problems including respiratory failures, lung and heart diseases. He asks the court to direct the government to implement the statutory laws as well as mandatory rules in letter and spirit for the purpose of protecting environment of all kinds. He further asks the court to order for necessary amendments in the laws so as to make the government departments compatible to deal with emergency situations.