LAHORE - The Lahore High Court yesterday sought reply from the federal and Punjab governments in a petition challenging Sahiwal Coal Power Plant.

PTI’s Zubair Niazi filed the petition and pointed out that environmental issues were not addressed before the launch of the project.

He said if the government was not stopped from constructing the coal plant, the people of surrounding localities would face very adverse effects and irreparable damages.

After hearing the arguments of the petitioner’s counsel, Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah directed law officers of both governments to come up on next date with a reply on petitioner’s allegation that Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) was conducted ignoring international standards.

The judge also directed registrar office to consolidate all similar petitions for next hearing and put off further hearing until Dec 2.

PAT workers granted bail: An Anti-Terrorism Court granted bail to 41 workers of Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) in the first FIR registered against them by Punjab government in Model Town incident.

The court has directed them to deposit surety bond of Rs100,000 each.

Appearing before the court, PAT’s counsel told the judge that party workers were implicated in the case mere on political grounds as they did not commit any wrong rather they were attacked and tortured by the police.

He argued that the FIR against the PAT workers was registered to protect political leaders involved in the incident. He pleaded that many other workers had already been granted bail, therefore, the rest of the accused be granted bail.

On it, a prosecutor opposed the arguments of the petitioners’ counsel and said that Joint Investigation Team (JIT) investigated the matter and referred their names to include in the FIR.

He requested the court to reject the application of PAT workers.

After hearing both sides, the court ordered police to release the workers on bail.

The PAT workers are fighting their case for last one and half year. On May 21, 2015, a Joint Investigation Team constituted by Punjab government exonerated Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and former provincial law minister Rana Sanaullah from charges of ordering or abetting the police action.

At least 14 people were killed and 100 others were injured when police attacked on Minhajul Quran Secretariat over the matter of barrier’s removal from the roads leading to the building.

In the incident, two different FIRs were registered; first FIR was registered by Punjab police while the second FIR was lodged by PAT against PML-N leadership including PM Nawaz Sharif, CM Shahbaz Sharif, law minister Rana Sanaullah, other party leaders and senior police officials.