LAHORE - The legal fraternity has supported the Supreme Court decision of dismissing Tahirul Qadri’ petition seeking dissolution of the election commission, saying the apex court has timely protected the rights of people of Pakistan.

Lahore High Court Bar Association (LHCBA) Secretary Sardar Akbar Ali Dogar said Qadri was trying to derail the democratic system on the directions of the establishment.

Talking to this scribe, Akbar said the apex judiciary was protecting rights of country’s poor people who had struggled to strengthen the democracy.

“No one will be allowed to attack people’s right of electing their representatives through a process mentioned in the constitution,” Akbar said.

He said Qadri’s criticism on apex court decision after the dismissal of his petition was out of question because he had failed to prove his good intentions about the ECP.

Advocate Azhar Siddique also supported the apex court decision and said Qadri was acting on directions of establishment to derail the democratic system.

He said it was undemocratic demand to dissolve the ECP just before 35 days of completion of tenure of national and provincial assemblies.

He said Qadri’s criticism on the judiciary after dismissal of his petition exposed his intentions that he was on secret agenda.

Former Punjab Bar Council Vice Chairman Ghulam Abbas Nissoana suggested initiating contempt proceedings against Qadri over his derogatory remarks against the judiciary.He said the apex court had dismissed the petition according to the constitution.

“The apex court decision is again a warning to all those forces who are actively trying to delay the upcoming general elections,” he added.

HEARING DEFERRED: The LHC deferred for indefinite period hearing of three identical petitions, moved by Nawaz Sharif his wife Kalsoom Nawaz and Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif against the income tax notices for payment of additional wealth tax.

The proceedings were postponed as no one appeared on behalf of the respondents and now the LHC registrar office would fix next date of hearing.

The department had accused Nawaz Sharif of not paying tax after buying a helicopter in the mid-1990s. Shahbaz Sharif was directed to pay Rs2.3 million as additional wealth tax and Rs 1.6 million as additional income tax for the years 1994-95, 1995-96, 1996-97 and 1997-98.

Kalsoom was asked to pay Rs 6 million as additional wealth tax. Petitioners’ counsel, Tariq Aziz Malik, said the Income Tax Department had never disclosed the amount of tax due against Nawaz Sharif. He said the other two had paid their income tax during the stipulated period and no objection had been raised against them.

He said the notices were issued to them after 2000. He said objection to the assessment was raised after the passage of about 1,213 days, which was illegal.

Also, the LHC set 14 kiln workers free after getting them recovered from eight-month long detention of the kiln owners.

A court’s bailiff had raided the kiln in Raiwind and recovered the detained workers. Besides women, the detainees included eight children.

Pitras Masih had filed a habeas corpus petition and submitted that Haji Akram and Haji Salam, the kiln owners, had been taking forced labour from his relatives. He alleged that the kiln owners used to torture the detainees and never allowed them to go outside the kiln.

He prayed to the court to get the detainees recovered from the detention of the kiln owners.

Justice Shahid Hameed Dar had appointed the bailiff for the recovery of the detainees. The bailiff Habibur Rehman produced the kiln workers before the court and the judge set them free.