LAHORE - A citizen Wednesday filed a contempt petition in the Lahore High Court against Pemra chairman Absar Alam for ‘criticising’ courts.

Munir Ahmad filed the petition, while a constitutional petition challenging his appointment as chairman is already pending.

The petitioner submitted that the appointment of Absar Alam as a Pemra chairman was a result of unlawful engineered procedure maneuvered through two different advertisements, he was openly criticizing the courts.

The Pemra chairman has stated on different forums that he is aggrieved because he has to appear before courts, the petitioner quoted him. He stated that in a civic society any government official feels proud to appear before the courts as the apex courts are the omen of prestige and justice while Absar Alam was showing his wrath merely on the basis that the apex courts of the country are taking of the matters of Pemra very keenly and seriously.

He quoted statement of Absar Alam he gave during his press conference held on May 8, 2017 that “That the Regulatory Body (Pemra) would not be able to work as required by the law if faced with stay orders all the time granted by the Apex Courts of the country”.

He said Pemra chief further stated that he had taken action on 357 complaints lodged with it and 337 of them were challenged in courts. Not only this, the chairman has also said “High courts are even granting stay on the show cause notices issued by the Pemra”.

The petitioner said that at one stage, Absar Alam was of view that “Pemra’s powers are being contained and restricted” adding that “337-cases were pending before the courts and the authority was making efforts to vacate stay orders obtaining in various cases and decision on issuing new licenses to TV channels would be taken after vacation of stay orders.”

He further quoted his statement in which Pemra chairman said that “I was answerable to the court, standing committees and the parliament, so how Pemra could deliver in such a situation,” adding that “The work of Pemra is now dependent upon high courts.”

The petitioner said that in his press conference, Absar showed his true colours in unprecedented manner while degrading the apex court and thus hitting the rock bottom.

He prayed the court to initiate contempt proceedings against Absar Alam over criticising courts in his press conference.

Ammunition depot’s shifting may take five years, LHC told

Defence Ministry told the Lahore High Court Wednesday that shifting of ammunition depot from a civilian area of Thokar Niaz Baig immediately was not possible; it may take five years.

Defence Ministry’s joint secretary Muhammad Younas appeared in the court along with a law officer and informed the court that the secretary was out of country. He said immediate shifting of ammunition depot from the civil area was not possible and at least five-year time was required for its shifting.

The court adjourned until May 24 the hearing of the case and sought more arguments from the parties.

Previously, the court observed that it was told that the matter of the depot was under consideration for its shifting to some other place but later some officials changed their stance. On which, the court had summoned the secretary.

Zubaida, a local woman, filed the petition and submitted that ammunition depot cannot be established in populated areas because they could be dangerous. She said the government had imposed ban on construction in the area due to ammunition depot.