Lahore High Court and Model Town courts on Wednesday echoed with the debate regarding the terrorism charges leveled against the Punjab University students, mainly from Islami Jamiat-e-Tulaba (IJT), for creating a ruckus at the varsity two days ago. Muslim Town Police succeeded in getting a two-day physical remand of six Punjab University students after they were brought before the court of Ghulam Mustafa Chaudhary. The students include Hafiz Wajid, Abdul Kabbir, Farooq, Kadam Malik, Zubir Sahi and Umer Bandi. The session’s court judge however issued a show cause notice to Muslim Town SHO for his failure to produce case’s record against the students as the hearing started on Wednesday. To a failure, 13 PU students’ bail appeal could not be heard yesterday. The students who were left unheard include Umair, Muaz Ahmed, Abid Ali and Waseem Akhtar. Separately, at the Lahore High Court (LHC) a two member bench headed by Sheikh Najamul Hassan heard the case regarding the terrorism charges on the varsity students. The Punjab government’s counsel argued that the students had ‘terrorized’ the teachers and had ‘harshly’ handled the public on the road during their protest, thus terrorism charges be maintained against the students. With the debate’s temperature shooting up, the court observed that more details were required from both the parties to decide the matter and adjourned the hearing till December 9. Earlier, Anti Terrorism Court had directed the police to drop terrorism charges against students and present them in relevant courts. DISCIPLINARY ACTION: With the court matters still hanging in balance, Punjab University Disciplinary Committee dismissed 21 students due to involvement in torturing teachers, use of weapons and disturbing peace. The Disciplinary Committee dismissed 21 students and stopped them from attending classes for two weeks. As per details, 14 students are from Law College, three from Hailey College and four from Polytechnic Science. The authorities have also issued show cause notices to the students. ‘GOVERNMENT’S INTENTIONS ARE NOT GOOD’: On the other hand, IJT spokesmansaid that government has launched operation against ‘innocent’ students as part of its ‘state terrorism policy’ and by registering cases against students for the last five days. He said that y doing this government was taking the situation to no return point and also creating a situation of students’ direct clash with government. He alleged that PU VC and his allies were trying to sabotage the peaceful atmosphere in the varsity. He said that Punjab government’s appeal in LHC against Anti-Terrorism Court decision of detaching terrorism sections leveled against students had exposed government’s intentions. REGAINING NORMALCY: As far as the varsity situation is concerned, it returned to normalcy after protests by the Punjab University students over their eviction from a hostel, which the management decided to allocate to female students owing to their growing numbers. The academic activities were also restored along with the plying of university buses on all the routes in the city. All the female students have been moved to the hostel which became a bone of contention between the male students and the management. However, a heavy deployment of the police force could be seen around the hostel to avert any untoward incident.
Lahore High Court (LHC) on Wednesday sought assistance of Punjab attorney general and advocate general on a petition for enforcement of Articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution on the candidates of the upcoming local government election in the province. Munir Ahmad filed the petition through Azhar Siddique. Justice Aminuddin Khan took up the petition and remarked that the questions raised by the petitioner required interpretation of the Constitution. The judge said assistance of principal law officers of the federation and the province of Punjab was necessary in the case, therefore, he issued notices to the attorney general and advocate general for December 16. Earlier, the petitioner’s counsel said Election Commission Pakistan (ECP) was constitutionally duty bound to conduct free and fair elections and also to remove any decision of the executive organ that may hinder conduct of free polls. He said the Constitution gave criteria of qualification/disqualification for the election of public representatives in Articles 62 and 63. However, he said, Punjab Local Government Act 2013 contained no such criteria for the candidates thus allowed all convicted, bank defaulters, dual nationals and fake degree holders to contest the LG polls. Siddique pointed out that chairman of a union council would be a public authority who had to act as an arbitrator in family matters while dealing with the divorce disputes. He said if an uneducated, non-knowing of family laws and unqualified person was elected as chairman of a union council how he could be able to dispense justice with public at large. Therefore, he said, highly sensible, law knowing, educated and qualified persons were required to be elected on the post of chairman of UC. He prayed to the court to direct the ECP to implement provisions of Article 62 and 63 of the Constitution on the candidates of the upcoming LG polls. NA-118 VOTE VERIFICATION: Justice Nasir Saeed Sheikh of LHC on Wednesday sought assistance of the attorney general (AG) on petition of PML-N MNA Malik Riaz challenging an order of the election tribunal to NADRA for verification of votes of his constituency NA-118, Lahore-I, through thumb impressions. Judge issued notice to the AG for December 6. Riaz moved the petition against an order of the election tribunal issued an order on petition of PTI defeated candidate Hamid Zaman for verification of votes through thumb impressions. He submitted that there was not provision of verification of votes through thumb impressions in the law. He also said that it was impossible to verify about 150,000 votes polled. He said that the impunged order was without justification and illegal. He requested to declare the order as illegal and having no effect. On petition of Hamid Zaman, the tribunal on November 18 had directed NADRA to check thumb impressions of the voters on ballot papers to verify their authenticity. SARWAR BAILED AGAIN: LHC on Wednesday granted seven-day protective bail to former federal minister Ghulam Sarwar, facing charges of having fake degree, and directed him to approach trial court for the relief of bail. Anti Corruption Establishment (ACE) had lodged a case against Sarwar for obtaining a fake degree of FA to appear in BA examination to meet the graduation condition in general elections of 2008. It was alleged that Sarwar son of Muhammad Hayat Khan obtained duplicate diploma originally issued to another candidate of namesake but his father’s name was Abdul Hameed Khan. Sarwar used the duplicate diploma for appearing in graduation examinations and obtained BA degree finally. The ACE after investigation had lodged a case against the former minister Sarwar, former chairman of Punjab Board of Technical Education (PBTE), its secretary and two other officials for issuing the duplicate diploma unlawfully.
Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah has said that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), which criticises others, should have courage to face the response. Talking to journalists at the Punjab Assembly on Wednesday, he said that the use of word “drama” for the PTI protest to stop the NATO supplies was not non-parliamentary. He criticized the PTI for holding protest to summon Punjab Assembly session and then boycotting the proceedings using different tactics. The Punjab law minister said that with the retirement or resignation of any official, dignity of any institution was not lost and the Supreme Court (SC) will have same esteem it had. Sanaullah said that action should be taken against the officials who were held responsible in Rawalpindi carnage by the Facts Finding Committee (FFC) in accordance with the rules. Sanaullah said that National Database Registration Authority (NADRA) Chairman Tariq Malik has close relations with officials of former PPP-led government and his removal was the constitutional right of federal government but still it accepted the court decision and reinstated him. However, government will present its view point regarding sacking of Malik from its position.