LAHORE - The Lahore High Court on Monday gave the Punjab government a February 15 deadline to submit a reply to a petition seeking inquiry into the financial irregularities in the Punjab Chief Minister Yellow Cab Scheme (PCMYCS).
The court also sought a report from PCMYCS Steering Committee Chairman Senator Ishaq Dar.
Justice Umar Ata Bandial passed the order on a petition, filed by Hina Eihtisham through her counsel Fakhir Razzaq, pointing out loopholes in the scheme. The petitioner’s counsel said the Punjab government had announced to deliver 20,000 cabs and collected about 70,000 applications for this purpose. The government fixed the process fee for the cab at Rs 3500 and the advance amount at Rs 10, 000. He said 20,000 applicants were picked through a draw and Rs 250 million was spent on providing them cabs. He stated that the government had embezzled the rest of the money set aside for the scheme. The counsel alleged that the Punjab government had purchased the vehicles form their ‘beloved’ car dealers and manufacturers. He also contended that there were gross financial irregularities in the scheme that needed to be probed. The counsel requested the court to constitute a commission to investigate the irregularities. The court, after hearing the arguments, directed a law officer to seek replies from the respondents and inform the court by the next hearing date.
Cheque fraud accused granted bail: The Lahore High Court granted bail on Monday to a man accused of cheque dishonour against surety bonds worth Rs1 million. Muhammad Azam, filed a bail application through his counsel Shahid Nazir Jarra, submitting that he issued seven blank cheques worth Rs30 million in favour of his former employee Nijabat Ali which were dishonoured at the time of encashment. The petitioner submitted that the cheques were issued as a security for the development work to be initiated in his housing society. Advocate Jarra contended that the complainant had tampered the cheques and changed the amounts on them. The police produced the tampered cheques in the court of Justice Kazim Raza Shamsi. The judge granted post-arrest bail after examining the police record and investigation and furnishing the surety bonds and ordered the release of the accused.
Police indicted for not stopping protests: The Lahore High Court on Monday adjourned till February 21 the hearing of a contempt petition against the police’s failure to stop protests held at the Mall Road, despite a court ban. Justice Umar Ata Bandial was hearing the contempt petition filed by the Mall Road Traders Association President Naeem Mir through his counsel Manzoor Ahmad Butt. The Punjab Chief Secretary and Lahore District Coordination Officer Ahad Cheema and other police officials were indicated as the respondents. A reply was filed before the court on behalf of the respondents, but the court deferred the matter after the petitioner sought time to review it. The petition stated that the LHC on November 2, 2011, disposed of the petition filed by the Mall Road Traders Association after the Punjab government assured that protests, rallies and procession had been banned on the Mall. He said the court was also informed that a plan regarding the prohibition of these activities on the Mall Road and allowing protestors the use of Nasir Bagh and Attique Stadium was under consideration. The petitioner contended that the authorities failed to fulfil the promise. He added that nurses were allowed to protest on the Mall on 24 November which affected the traffic and business. The petitioner contended that since the respondents failed to take appropriate measures, contempt proceedings should be initiated against them.