LAHORE - The Lahore High Court on Thursday issued notice to Punjab government to submit reply in a petition seeking directions for the implementation of Punjab Public Defender Act, 2007 to provide free legal assistance to the poor and needy people.

Hanif Tahir Advocate had filed the petition arguing that poor and needy people cannot afford costly justice and it was the reason that thousands of prisoners were languishing in jails.

The petitioner maintained in the petition that the legal assistance, although ensured by the Punjab government in the shape of ‘Punjab Public Defender Act, 2007, was not provided yet. He said the act was promulgated in 2007 and since then it was just part of the files and was not enforced for larger national interest.

The petitioner-lawyer also told the judge that the government also did not make any effort to enforce such a valuable piece of law.

In 2011, a similar petition was also filed in 2011 and Punjab government at that time had informed the court that PPDA could not be implemented as government lacked funds for it. He said it was negligence on part of the Punjab government and thus the government was wasting public money on maintaining luxury lives of the politicians and bureaucrats.

He requested the court to direct the government to implement the said law in letter and spirit and make immediate appointment defenders. The court will resume hearing on May 15.

Plea against market

closure dismissed

The Lahore High Court on Thursday dismissed a petition challenging the decision of the government to close markets and shops at 8pm to conserve electricity in summer season.

The court held that the petition was non-maintainable as it was policy matter and court cannot interfere in it.

Lahore Anjuman Tajran had filed the petition saying that the decision to close markets at 8pm was violation of constitution which ensured the fundamental right of business. Economic activities would hampered by early closure of markets and it would help escalate unemployment. He requested the court to set aside government decision.