New offices for the Punjab environment tribunal, dormant since July 2011, were inaugurated in a ceremony at Lytton Road on Saturday. The tribunal, which hears pollution cases, will start work from next week.
Abdul Rasheed, formerly a district and sessions judge, will serve as the chairman of the tribunal. Ubaid Rabbani Qureshi, a retired District Management Group officer, will serve as the legal member for the tribunal while Dr Anwar Rasheed Saleemi, former dean of the chemical engineering department at the University of Engineering and Technology Lahore, will serve as technical member.
The three-member tribunal will function six days a week. The members and the chairman are appointed for two years, with the government having the option of extending their terms by a year.
Saleemi, the technical member, said that the tribunal was still awaiting the files for the over two thousand pending cases to be transferred to its new office on Lytton Road. “We will start hearing the cases by Tuesday,” he said.
He said that the tribunal would hold hearings around the Punjab. “Areas with more cases will be prioritised,” he said.
Law Minister Rana Sana Ullah was the chief guest at the inauguration ceremony. Environment Minister Manshaullah Butt and Environment Secretary Saeed Iqbal Wahla also attended the event.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 3rd, 2012.