LAHORE - Taking suo moto notice of the rallies on Shahara Qaud-e-Azam (Mall Road), the Lahore High Court yesterday asked Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif to explain why this practice was going on though the court barred such demos.

Justice Ibadur Rehman Lodhi also issued show cause notice to the DCO, DIG (Operations) and CTO.

“Punjab Chief Minister is also directed to tell about the steps taken by him following the Nov 2, 2011 orders,” the judge said.

The judge took the notice after he and other judges failed to reach the high court in time Wednesday’s morning due to a protest outside the Punjab Assembly which had caused a traffic jam on The Mall.

DIG (Operations) Haider Ashraf and CTO Tayyab Hafeez Cheema appeared before the judge on a short notice, while the legal adviser of district government appeared on behalf of DCO Muhammad Usman. The adviser said the DCO was busy in meeting of provincial cabinet.

Justice Lodhi remarked the participation of DCO in cabinet committee meeting was not possible anyway as he is not a member of that body. Despite a clear direction of the court, which was duly conveyed to DCO, his non appearance and the act of taking a false plea amounts to contempt of the court, the judge remarked.

Along with the show cause notice which had already been ordered to be issued, the DCO will also explain as to his willful absence from the proceedings of the court, the judge said in the order.

The judge appointed Additional Advocate General Khawar Ikram Bhatti as prosecutor in the matter while Advocate Ahmed Waheed Khan was appointed as amicus curiae for future proceedings.

Justice Lodhi also directed the registrar office to prepare a separate file in the matter in order to place the same before the court on October 27 when the matter will come for further hearing.