LAHORE - The Lahore High Court chief justice yesterday issued notice to Punjab secretary schools (primary) on a petition filed by Pakistan Punjabi Adbi Board (PAB) against the restriction placed on using Punjabi language by a known private schools system.

Advocate Tahir Mahmood Sindhu appeared on behalf of the Board and pleaded that headmaster at the Sahiwal campus of the school system recently issued a circular to ban the use of foul language by students during school hours. The circular restricted the use of use of foul languages which also included Punjabi, he added.

The lawyer further stated that the school administration by tagging Punjabi as foul language committed violation of the Constitution that required the government to preserve regional languages besides the national language i.e., Urdu.

He said no language of the world could be declared foul and no one could be allowed to determine a langue obnoxious. He said Punjabi was a widely spoken language of Pakistan and the circular in question had hurt feeling of a large number people who spoke Punjabi and loved and respected this language which had originated a number of other languages and was used to produce the best literature in the world. He asked the court to set aside the circular and direct the government to take action against the responsible authorities for insulting the Punjabi language.

The chief justice heard the arguments and issued notice to the secretary schools for November 15.

Appeal for transferring 

honour killing case

Lahore High Court Chief Justice Masnoor Ali Shah yesterday issued notice to the prosecution and the defence on a plea moved by the second spouse of Pakistan based UK citizen Samia Shahid, allegedly a victim of honour killing at the hand of her family.

The petitioner seeks transfer of the murder trial from Jhelum to Lahore as he fears threats to his life and that of the witnesses.

Advocate Malik Awais Khalid on behalf of the petitioner made submissions following which notices were issued to the respondents for November 4.

The counsel submitted that Syed Mukhtar Kazim, one of the complainants of the case, was obliged to leave the country owing to serious life threats from the suspects of the murder. He said the suspects including father and first husband were influential people of the city (Jhelum) and could influence the trial proceedings.

He said the prosecution submitted challan against the suspects before additional district & sessions judge Ambreen Qureshi of Jhelum.

However the suspects were in a position to hamper fair administration of justice, he added. He said Joint Investigation Team formed in the case also recommended transfer of the trial from Jhelum. Therefore, he prayed the court to transfer the trial of the case to Lahore.

Samia Shahid, a dual national, had died in July this year when she came to see her ailing father in a village of Jhelum. Initially, the family claimed that she died of natural cause. However, Kazim alleged that she was murdered by her family in the name of honour.

Luxury tax pleas dismissed





The Lahore High Court yesterday dismissed hundreds of petitions which questioned authority of the Punjab government to levy luxury tax on houses.

The court nevertheless, set aside as without lawful authority the notices earlier issued for recovery of the tax from the petitioners.

A division bench comprising Justice Shahid Jamil Khan and Justice Sajid Mahmood Sethi decided the matter passing a short order.

The petitioners through counsel had contended the government imposed luxury tax by amending section 8 of Finance Act. They said the luxury tax was inconsistent with fundamental rights as guaranteed by the Constitution and amounted to double taxing.

The petitioners submitted that the government was adopting coercive measures for the recovery of the tax.

They asked the court to set aside the notices issued by the excise and taxation department and restrained it from recovering the tax.

The bench set aside the recovery notices, however, did not strike section 8 of the Finance Act.