The Revenue Department informed Lahore High Court (LHC) on Thursday that it had retrieved 6,900 acres of Forest Department from the illegal possession of Punjab Assembly Deputy Speaker Sardar Sher Ali Gorchani.
Chief Settlement Commissioner Saqib Aziz and some Revenue Department officials had appeared in the court. They submitted a written reply to Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah informing the court that 6,900 acres had been retrieved from Gorchani.
They said Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif would now decide whether the land should be transferred to the Forest Department or to some other department. Justice Shah ordered the Revenue Department to submit a report about the remaining land and adjourned the hearing until February 11.
Sardar Ali Raza, a Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf MPA, had filed the petition submitting that the deputy speaker had grabbed the land with the connivance of some officials from the Revenue Department.
He said Gorchani was cultivating the land after cutting the woods on it.
He had requested the court to order the recovery of the land.
Prosecution to argue on plea against Kanju’s acquittal
Lahore High Court (LHC) granted more time to the Prosecution Department on Thursday to argue on the appeal challenging an anti-terrorism court’s verdict of acquitting Mustafa Kanju, son of former state minister Siddique Kanju, of a murder charge.
Mustafa Kanju is accused of killing Zain and injuring another passer-by near Lahore’s Cavalry Ground on April 1 following a collision between his car and another.
On Thursday, Additional Prosecutor General Abdul Samad appeared before the court and sought more time to argue the case. An LHC division bench, headed by Justice Shahid Hameed Dar, accepted his plea and adjourned the hearing until December 22.
Earlier, the LHC court reserved verdict on the maintainability of the appeal filed by the provincial government after Prosecutor General Ehtesham Qadir Shah had concluded his arguments on the admissibility of the appeal.
Shah had argued that the trial court had acquitted Kanju in haste and in disregard of facts. He said the court had not recorded statements of police witnesses who had recovered a weapon from Kanju.
Some of the prosecution witnesses had retracted their statements after which the court had acquitted him and his accomplices, said the prosecutor general.
He informed the court that the complainant, during a meeting with the chief minister, had expressed satisfaction with police’s performance but later alleged that police officials had obtained his signatures on blank papers.
Chief Justice of Pakistan Anwar Zaheer Jamali had taken suo motu notice of the acquittal.
Court moved against age rule
Lahore High Court on Thursday allowed 14 petitions filed by students seeking directions for their registration for grade 9 examinations with various boards.
Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah heard petitions filed by Robina Bibi, Syeda Ghazal Gillani and other students.
Counsel for the petitioner said intermediate and secondary education boards in Lahore, Gujranawala and Faisalabad had banned registration of grade 9 students under 12 years of age.
He said the boards were refusing to register the petitioners for being underage.
He said the ban imposed on registration of underage student was unconstitutional and illegal. He asked the court to direct the boards to register the students.
A law officer appearing behalf of the boards said underage students could not be registered under the examination policy.
The court, after hearing arguments, allowed all petitions and directed the boards to register the students.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 18th, 2015.