LAHORE - Chief Justice Saqib Nisar heard a number of public-interest cases at the Supreme Court’s Lahore Registry and sought report from the authorities concerned in a bid to address complainants’ grievances.

The top judge ordered auction of petrol stations to pay salaries to the employees, job for a visually impaired girl, and action against land grabbers in Arifwala. He sent the matter of hefty school fees to a three-member Supreme Court bench and questioned ‘corrupt’ Patwaris’ role in real estate-related issues.

He heard a case of employees of various petrol stations that have been sold but workers were deprived of their salaries. He sought a report in the case and ordered immediate preparation of a list of all employees of the filling stations deprived of their salaries.

He remarked that each and every employee would get salaries be it for one hour, one month or one day. The workers said that the petrol stations had been sold out but they had not been paid as a result they were facing starvation. The CJ told them that arrangements for their livelihood would also be made and directed the authorities concerned to fix a date for the auction of the petrol stations so as to pay the employees their salaries.

Hearing the hefty fees of private schools case, the chief justice sent the matter to a three-member bench of the Supreme Court of Pakistan. A number of students and their parents appeared before the court. They said that despite the court orders, exorbitant fees were being extorted from them. They demanded early reddressal of their woes on a permanent basis. They also said that education should be easily accessible to common man in the country.

Likewise, the chief justice took up the application of a visually impaired girl who was not given the job in spite of clearing an exam under the Punjab Public Service Commission. The chief justice ordered the PPSC secretary to arrange a job for Hijab, a visually impaired girl who passed the PPSC exam with distinction. She submitted that she had passed the exam but failed in the interview.

Justice Nisar told the PPSC representative that she had cleared the exam so should have been given the job. He said after the written test, declaring 100 marks mandatory in interview too is not appropriate. The PPSC secretary told the court the applicant was one of other visually impaired persons who had passed the exam but failed in the interview. The chief justice said a blind person had become civil judge adding that nobody could be deprived of his right to employment.

Later, he took up an application filed by eunuchs from Arifwala. They said that influential land mafia has grabbed their property in Arifwala. The chief justice sought a report from DIG Legal Abdul Rab at the next hearing. He ordered the DIG to submit a report after thorough interrogation. The victims said that influential people have grabbed their house. A criminal case had been filed against the accused in which their bails had also been cancelled, they said.

Talking to the media, they praised the chief justice’s bold stance against the land grabbers. They said that only the chief justice could provide them with justice. They also lauded the chief’s action against Lahore-based land grabber Mansha Bomb, saying that he was also patoronised by influential politicians. They said that the accused including Sufian had connived with the local police therefore the police were not willing to take legal action against them.

The chief justice also sought a comprehensive report from the senior member of the Board of Revenue Punjab in a week on the legal justification of the role of Patwaris in transfer and mutation of properties. He said that action would be taken in case of failure to legally justify Patwaris’ role in the land transfer and mutation matters. He said in what capacity patwaris instead of revenues officials were working. They are even doing mutation of lands sanctioned for graves, he regretted.

It is worth mentioning that addressing a seminar the other day, the chief justice had regretted that fundamental rights were not protected in the country. Talking about the right to person and property, he had asked whether the two rights were safe and secure in the country. He said all the other rights make a nexus with the rights to person and property. With regard to right to property, he said, “The people like Mansha Bomb grabbed the property of people. Is it not against the fundamental rights of the people of Pakistan?”

In a bid to provide relief for the oppressed people of the country, the chief justice of Pakistan has tirelessly and industriously been making strenuous efforts that are also acknowledged by the common public who term him the only ray of hope in a society where justice is normally denied to the lower strata.