LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) Monday barred Punjab finance department from direct issuance of development funds to provincial lawmakers.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Mansoor Ali Shah issued this order on an intra-court appeal submitted by PTI minority MPA Shunila Ruth.

LHC also directed Punjab finance department to issue funds in accordance with development schemes rather than in the names of provincial lawmakers.

Advocate Sheraz Zaka, counsel for petitioner, informed bench during proceedings that MPAs of opposition parties are being subjected to discriminatory behaviour by the Government of Punjab. He told bench that Punjab government solely grants uplift funds to MPAs of the ruling party.

As per verdicts of courts, neither Punjab government can subject MPAs of opposition parties to discriminatory behavior nor it has the authority to distribute direct funds to the provincial lawmakers, said Zaka in court.

The counsel informed the court that the government formed quota of uplift funds and distributed them to MPAs of minorities. Zaka said a quota was again formed in 2016 constituting of MPAs of Christian community in accordance with list of uplift projects proffered by each MPA.

Unfortunately, he said, his client, who is the only MPA from PTI under the reserved seats for non-Muslims, was not allocated any quota despite the submission of development schemes. He said his client had been subjected to a discriminatory treatment in allocation of funds.

However, Lawyer of the provincial government told bench that funds are being allocated to the MPAs as per law.