LAHORE - The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf failed to get Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif disqualified as the Lahore High Court dismissed as “not maintainable” a petition filed by a Lahore-based party leader.

Ejaz Chaudhry said in his petition that the chief minister had shifted his family’s sugar mills from one district to the other despite the existence of official ban on such a move. By doing so, the petition said, the chief minister had violated his constitutional oath as it amounted to preferring personal interest to his constitutional pledge.

Under Articles 62 and 63, the petition, moved through senior Advocate and former law minister Babar Awan, said the chief minister should be disqualified.

The state counsel vehemently opposed the PTI leader’s contention on the plea that the court verdict on which the petition relied had been suspended.

The petitioner’s counsel said if the court doesn’t want to pass any order the petition should be referred to the PA speaker for a reference against the CM.

The court can’t issue such an order, said Justice Ayesha A Malik. However, she said, the petitioner could raise the matter on any other relevant forum.

LEGAL ADVISERS

LHC Chief Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah ordered the Pakistan Bar Council and the Punjab Bar Council to take legal action against the lawyers who are advisers to more than three companies at a time.

The order was passed on a petition moved by former LHC Bar Secretary Barrister Muhammad Ahmed Qayyum that alleged that a large number of lawyers were rendering services to more than three companies at the same time, as a result of which young lawyers were not getting opportunities they deserve.

The petitioner further said that under the law every company was bound to engage one legal adviser, but at present more than 10,000 companies were working without advisers.

The SECP has submitted a report about the lawyers advising more than three companies.

The petitioner said that the PBC and the Punjab Bar Council were duty-bound to proceed against the lawyers flouting the law. But, he regretted, they were playing the role of silent spectators.

Punjab Bar Council member Rana Intizar Hussain assured the court that the lawyers violating the law would be proceeded against.

The court adjourned further proceedings on the petition till February.

ENVIRONMENTAL LABS

The LHC directed the Punjab government to operationalise all environmental laboratories by April.

The deadline was given on a petition that alleged that the government was taking no step to control pollution although the smoke and waste generated by factories in residential areas were playing havoc with the health of the people.

Under the law, the petition said, laboratories have to be there to measure the pollution level but there is none in the country’s most populous province. The environment secretary informed the court that the government has approved Rs 388 million for the establishment of laboratories. The recruitment of staff would take about four months after which the laboratories would become functional.

The LHC said till the functioning of these laboratories the government should take services of private facility.

SMOG POLICY

The LHC was informed yesterday that the Punjab government has drafted a smog policy which would be finalized soon in consultation with the relevant departments.

The information was given on a petition that alleged that a large number of people had been affected by smog but the government was taking no steps to deal with the situation. The environment secretary apprised the court of the measures being taken by the government.