LAHORE – MIAN DAWOOD - The Lahore High Court on Friday sought a report from the Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) over disappearance of Canadian Sikh woman Rajvindar Kaur Gill.

Sikandar Singh Gill, the father of missing woman, filed a petition for securing the release of her daughter. His counsel Aftab Ahmad Bajwa informed the court that Kaur arrived in Pakistan on Aug 25, 2012 to attend an exhibition of diamonds in Lahore. She she had no contact with the family since her text message informing the family that she landed Lahore, the court heard.

He pointed out that deputy prime minister of Indian Punjab also visited Lahore in connection with a Kabbadi tournament and took up the issue with Punjab Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif but to no avail. The father made a request to court for directing the police to help him find her daughter. Justice Sheikh Najamul Hassan issued notice to the CCPO and directed him to file a reply until December 31.

Shocked: The Lahore High Court was shocked when it came to know on Friday about release of 19 convicted prisoners from the Sahiwal Jail after a medical board declared them above 70-year-old contrary to jail record, allowing them to take advantage of a relaxation announced through a presidential order.

Justice Sheikh Najamul Hassan was hearing a petition moved by widow Shamim Ara challenging the release of two convicts Zaman and Tufail after a presidential circular issued in 2009-10 asking the release of prisoners who had completed one third of jail term and above the age limit of 70.

Her counsel told the court that the trial court had awarded life imprisonments to both Zaman and Tufail and handed over them to Sahiwal jail authorities. In view of the presidential circular, they had been released from the jail on recommendations of the medical board, but they were still below the age 70 according to their national identity cards and jail records.

Following the court notice, Superintendent of Sahiwal Jail Gulzar Butt appeared before the court and admitted that at least 20 convicts had been released from the jail. Of them, 19 had not yet attained the age limit of 70 but released on certificates issued by the medical boards, he admitted.

The statement of the superintendent stunned the judge who observed if the same practice remained continue by the medical boards, all the convicts would be released soon. The court ordered the Punjab government to submit report and reply over the issue till January 10, 2013.

Termination sTAYED: the LHC Friday suspended the termination of ten employees of Punjab Irrigation and Drainage Authority (PDIA) and sought reply managing director of the authority over it. Justice Muhammad Khalid Mahmood Khan passed the orders on a petition moved by Nadir Khan and nine others working for a PIDA’s project for improvement of Lower Bari Doaab.

They submitted that the contract employees of the PIDA had approached the LHC for regularization of their services, and the court had also restrained the Punjab government from taking any adverse action including termination against them till the final decision of the main case.

But, the department had issued their termination letters from December 30 because their contracts were going to be expired on year’s last day; they submitted adding the termination letters was a violation of LHC orders.

The requested the court to declare null and vide the termination orders. Justice heard initial arguments and suspended the termination orders besides seeking reply from managing director of the authority till January 28, 2013.