PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court (PHC) has ordered the federal secretary for finance to immediately release funds for the internally displaced persons of Jalozai camp.
The court also ordered that arrangements be made for IDPs to vote and directives were issued to the provincial government and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) Disaster Management Authority (FDMA) to coordinate with the provincial election commission.
A PHC division bench headed by Chief Justice (CJ) Dost Muhammad Khan and Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth was hearing a suo motu notice taken after IDPs submitted their applications to the PHC’s human rights directorate.
FDMA’s Director General Asghar Khan informed the bench that they had twice requested the federal government for funds but did not get a reply.
“This is the responsibility of the state. If foreigners (donor agencies) can help us from far away, then why can’t the federal government?” CJ Khan said, adding that the provincial government should not have to bear the entire burden.
A total of 167,140 families, including over a million men, women and children, migrated from Fata to Peshawar, Nowshera, Hangu and other parts of the province. Of these 13,772 families—over 80,000 people—currently reside in the Jalozai camp.
The bench also ordered the FDMA DG and the additional advocate general, Naveed Akhtar, to arrange for IDPs to vote at the camp in the upcoming general elections.
“This is their basic right and they should not be deprived of it,” CJ Khan said. He told both officials to contact the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) to issue duplicate national identity cards for the IDPs (CNIC) if needed.
Notices issued for sibling policy
In another case hearing, the PHC issued notices to the secretaries of the provincial education department and of the board of intermediate and secondary education (BISE) Mardan for failing to formulate a provincial regulatory authority for education.
The notices were issued by a PHC division bench headed by PHC CJ Dost Muhammad Khan and Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth. The bench was hearing an appeal against the cancellation of the Fauji Foundation School’s (FFS) affiliation with the BISE Mardan for failing to follow the sibling policy.
In February 2009, the PHC had ordered to cancel the registration of those educational institutions that violate the policy, according to which a student is entitled to pay only half of the school fees if another sibling is already studying at the same institution. The policy is mentioned in Article 106 of Chapter-IV of the Education Code and applies to all private schools across the province.
However, in a hearing on October 7 this year, the court gave the Beacon House School System (BSS) a concession and allowed its students to appear in the matriculation examination, even though the school violated the policy.
Counsel for FFS, Farman Ali Khattak, requested the court to allow FFS students to appear for the matriculation exams, referring to the BSS judgment. Khattak told the bench that the future of FFS students was at stake and they would lose out on the entire year if they fail to appear for the exams.
The bench regretted its previous decision and told Khattak that the relaxation given to Beacon House has been withdrawn.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 22nd, 2012.
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