Contempt of court: Commissioner, DCO’s no-case plea rejected

Traders say they were arrested, shops razed despite stay order.


Express August 16, 2011

LAHORE:


The Lahore High Court on Monday turned down a request by the Lahore commissioner and the district coordination officer (DCO) to dismiss a contempt of court petition filed against them by traders of Kot Lakhpat fruit and vegetable market.


On Monday, the DCO, the commissioner, the Gulberg and Model Town TMOs submitted that they had not demolished any structures at the market.

To rebut their statements, petitioners’ counsel presented video clips and stated that city government and police had not only razed structures but also arrested many traders.

The court summoned both sides for arguments on August 23. In a related development, the petitioners’ counsel Shahid Ikram Siddiqi argued that the Asian Development Bank had allocated funds for the shifting of the market but those had been withheld after irregularities were discovered in the land purchase. He said since the Punjab government had no funds available for shifting of the market, the court should stay the shift.

The petitioners pleaded that in March 2011 the court had stayed the shifting of the market but the commissioner and the DCO had ordered shifting of the market to Hadiara.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 16th, 2011.

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