LAHORE: The Lahore High Court on Thursday directed the city government to explain what law allowed it to reimburse Punjab University for the money it spent on a ceremony for the distribution of laptops last month.
On March 22, Justice Umar Ata Bandial had directed the university’s vice chancellor not to pay for the ceremony, after which the Punjab government announced that it would bear the cost. Nazir Ahmad, a citizen, had filed the petition asking the court to stop the university from paying.
On Thursday, a law officer representing the Punjab government told the court that the city government would reimburse the Rs10.61 million the university spent on the ceremony.
At this, petitioner’s counsel Aftab Ahmad Bajwa raised an objection and asked how the city government could spend its money on an event that was meant to benefit one political party. He said the PML-Nawaz leaders at the event delivered political speeches. The university could have handed out the machines to the students “without the political drama,” he said.
Justice Bandial agreed and sought an explanation from the city government within two weeks justifying its paying for the laptop distribution ceremony.
The petitioner had submitted that the PU vice chancellor had arranged the event to curry favour with the Sharif family. He asked that the ceremony be declared a waste of public funds and that the court stop it from happening.