LAHORE - The Lahore High Court yesterday sought final arguments in a petition challenging policy of Lahore Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (BISE) which deprived many students below 12 years of age of getting admission to Class IX.

A two-judge bench headed by Justice Abid Aziz Sheikh resumed the hearing . The bench asked counsel of the board of intermediate under what law the condition of age limit of twelve years was imposed in order to appear in ninth class exam.

The bench observed that there was no restriction in O-level education system controlled by Cambridge board. The counsel of the board replied that it was written in the rules of the board. He said Section 1 of chapter 19 in sub rules of the board had limited the age.

The petitioner’s counsel Advocate Sheraz Zaka opposed his reply and said that there was no provision in Punjab free and compulsory education act 2014 which imposed such condition. He contended that it was discriminatory that in order to appear in ninth class exam a student has to be twelve years and this policy of board of intermediate is a violation of article 25A of Constitution which ensures free and compulsory primary education.

He also argued that there was contradiction in polices of the Punjab government as on one side  it announced to promote education for everyone and on the other side imposed restriction of age.  

The bench observed that Pakistan had two parallel education system one was regulated by board of intermediate and the other one was regulated by board of Cambridge university comprising of O-Level education system which did not place any age limit on a student to appear in ninth class exam.

The bench adjourned hearing till second week of September for final arguments.

Notices to Faisalabad DCO,

Housing Dept’s officials: Justice Ali Akbar Qureshi of the Lahore High Court yesterday issued contempt notice to Faisalabad DCO, Housing department director and deputy director for not complying with court’s order and sought reply until June 17. 

Baharan Bibi, a resident of Faisalabad district, filed contempt petition submitting that she bought her plot in 1976 but could not transfer it in her name. She said she approached DCO office but they demanded Rs 16 million for registration and transfer of plot in her name.

The woman petitioner said she did not buy it with such heavy amount. She was ready to pay transfer fee as per payment she did back in 1976 to buy that plot, she said. Baharan Bibi said she presented LHC’s order before the district administration but they did not hear her. 

She requested the court to initiate contempt proceedings against DCO and other officials. After hearing initial arguments, Justice Qureshi issued contempt notices to DCO and officials of the housing department and sought reply.