LAHORE  - A Lahore High Court full bench Monday directed federal and Punjab governments to submit reply on a petition challenging VIP culture in the country and adjourned further proceedings until November 7.

The full bench headed by Justice Khalid Mahmood Khan and comprised Justice Aminuddin Khan and Justice Ayesha A Malik heard the petition moved by Jamatud Dawa Chief Hafiz Saeed.

As the proceedings commenced, AK Dogar appeared in the court and stared contending that the VIP culture in the country was against the Constitution of Pakistan.

He argued that public functionaries were living like kings and princes in splendid houses of the government. He further argued that Pakistani rulers built air-conditioned accommodations for their horses and gave them costly jam to eat. Whereas, he said, hundreds of Pakistanis sifted through garbage to get food.

The petitioner counsel pointed out that  the government spent Rs1 million per day on the staff, household and allowances of the President, Rs1.2 million on the Prime Minister Secretariat, Rs2 million per day on the Senate, Rs4 million per day on the National Assembly and Rs200 million per day on the cabinet secretariat. He said Pakistan was printing Rs3 billion per day in cash and that was why the inflation rate was so high.

He said that VIP and VVIP status was ultra vires of the constitutional provisions of equality, social and economic justice and principle of democracy as enunciated by Islam. He said the closing of roads for VIPs was a violation of fundamental rights.

He said the presidency, PM house, governor’s houses, CMs’ houses, ministers’ enclave and “palaces of all state functionaries” should be declared a violation of the principle of social justice.

The counsel prayed the court to direct the respondents – including federal law secretary, interior secretary, the Punjab chief secretary, the president and the prime minister to follow the example of state functionaries in the UK, who travelled in buses and trains.