LAHORE - The Punjab government yesterday could not explain the legal status of Orange Line project in the Lahore High Court. The $1.6 billion project has been facing strong resistance by residents.

The government was supposed to explain legal status of the project and its utility in response to several petitions against the China-backed initiative.

A two-judge bench headed by Justice Abid Aziz Sheikh, however, asked Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) President Barrister Syed Ali Zafar, amicus curie, to assist the court on next hearing, January 21.

Dismissed: The Lahore High Court yesterday dismissed bail applications of three persons allegedly involved in lynching two men and ransacking public property after two suicide bombers after Yohannabad bomb blasts on two churches.

Accused persons including Aslam Pervez, Amna Masih and Faisal Masih had filed bail petitions submitting that they had not been involved in lynching two Muslims at the Ferozpur road. Police implicated them in the case, they submitted. They pleaded the court to release them.

NOTICE TO GOVT: The LHC issued notice to the Punjab government in a petition filed against Punjab Marriage Functions Ordinance promulgated for regulations of marriage functions and other related ceremonies. The court adjourned further hearing till February 10 and sought assistance from advocate general, Punjab.

A citizen Munir Ahmad filed the petition. Petitioner counsel Muhammad Azhar Siddique submitted that the restrictions of one-dish and limited time for wedding functions under Punjab Marriage Functions Ordinance, 2016 and its implementation on houses are in violation of fundamental rights.

He pleaded that holding a marriage at a public place in view of the impugned ordinance has been fixed with consequences and as such it was ultra vires of the Constitution.

He asserted that the issue related to enforcement of fundamental rights and right of life read with quality

of life, right of privacy and to enjoy the life accordingly and the government through an ordinance could not interfere.

He said that the Punjab government in excess of jurisdiction under article 128 promulgated the ordinance in 2016, which was drafted in 2015, and the Punjab assembly can only pass such law when it was in session. He submitted that the impugned ordinance was in violation of articles 9, 10-A, 14 and 25 of the Constitution.

He argued that the government has not authority to interfere within the private premises and as such this law is illegal beyond the power of government. He said that the Punjab governor had no authority to pass such an ordinance for taking away fundamental rights of the citizens.

He requested to set aside the impugned ordinance being ultra vires of the Constitution and in direct conflict with the fundamental rights of the citizens.