LAHORE - A three-member bench of the Supreme Court on Tuesday expressed serious concerns over supply of contaminated drinking water to citizens, observing that rights of the citizens would be protected.

The bench headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar resumed hearing of a suo motu notice over supply of contaminated water to people in Punjab. Justice Umar Ata Bandial and Justice Ijazul Ahsan were members of the bench.

During the proceedings, Punjab Chief Secretary Zahid Saeed and other officials were present in the court. The bench raised questions about supply of clean drinking water and the fee being charged from students by private educational institutions. The CJ asked the chief secretary about steps being taken by the government to provide health and education facilities to citizens.

He asked the chief secretary if he knew the level of arsenic in water being supplied to citizens. “How much fee the private institutions are charging?” the CJP asked the chief secretary. The court would appreciate efforts of the government if found satisfactory, the CJP observed. He also observed “we took notice of poor facilities in Karachi and now it is Punjab’s turn”. He asked the chief secretary to join judges on their visit to hospitals in the city.

Later, the CJP along with the judges visited Mayo Hospital and examined the facilities being provided to patients. During his visit, the CJP observed “the court would not tolerate the government’s negligence about provision of basic facilities to citizens”.

“The health and education sector should be the first priority of the government,” he observed.

The CJP said the court would keep a continuous check on the government’s actions. Pakistan Bar Council Vice-Chairman Ahsan Bhoon was also present on the occasion. Punjab Chief Secretary Zahid Saeed and medical superintendent of the hospital apprised the judges of the facilities being provided to patients.

LHC CJ sets up special

court for children

Lahore High Court Chief Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah on Tuesday inaugurated special court for children in the provincial capital.

The CJ said that the purpose of establishing this court is to protect the children from negative impact of litigation before the tradition courts.

 “We’ll not allow children to destroy their lives,” the CJ remarked.  Initially, 80 cases involving children had been transferred to the special court.

Senior Puisne judge, Justice Muhammad Yawar Ali, Justice Farrukh Irfan Khan, Justice Aalia Neelum, District and Sessions Judge Abid Qureshi and representatives of bar were also present on the occasion.

The CJ said that a separate waiting area was also set up for counseling of the under trial children by students of Punjab University’s psychology department. He said soon a special court for the senior citizens would also be established in Lahore as well. He said these pilot projects would be extended to other districts as well and hanked to local and international stakeholders for their support in the establishment of the court.

Women remanded over newborn’s kidnapping

A judicial magistrate Tuesday sent three women to jail on judicial remand on the charges of kidnapping a newborn baby from Services Hospital.

Kiran Kashif, Shahzia Wazir and Iram Rasheed had been facing the charges of kidnapping the newborns. Police produced them before the court seeking their remand. Police officials said that the accused ladies confessed their crime during the investigation. On it, the court sent them to the jail. The court also directed the police to submit challan within 14 days.