Justice Shahid Waheed of Lahore High Court on Friday dismissed a petition by Muhammad Iqbal, the head master of a public school, who had challenged a notice issued to him after the school’s grade 9 posted a pass result below 25 per cent.
The judge observed that the policy letter was a mode to keep a check on malpractice and hurdles in the way of upgrading the standard of education. He said it did not violate any constitutional provision.
Under the Constitution, Pakistan is a welfare state duty-bound to promote education and the economic interests of financially backward classes, the judge observed. He said the government was supposed to end illiteracy and provide free and compulsory secondary education to all citizens.
He said under Article 25-A of the Constitution, the state was bound to provide free and compulsory education to all children between 5 and 16 years of age in such a manner as may be determined by law.
On the LHC’s jurisdiction on policy matters, the judge held that it was a settled principle of law that under Article 199 of the Constitution the High Court does not interfere in policy matters, however, if a policy is in conflict with a provision of law or violates fundamental rights it could be challenged before the court.
The judge held that petitions against show cause notices were not maintainable and civil servants in disciplinary proceedings would have to wait till a final order was passed. He said the petition was not maintainable against intermediate stages or steps of department disciplinary proceedings. “I am clear in my mind that request made by the petitioner cannot be acceded,” said the judge, wrapping up the hearing.
Four suspects sent on physical remand
A judicial magistrate handed over four robbery suspects to Model Town police on a three-day physical remand. The police produced Shamshad Begum, Iqra, Mehak and Nadeem before a magisterial court seeking an extension of physical remand for further investigation. Policemen said that the suspects used to break into houses and were involved in more than eight robberies in Gulberg, Anarkali and Township among others. They said they had first nabbed Mehak who had led them to others. Sana, daughter of Shamshad Begum, said they were residents of Karachi and were financially well off. She said she and her mother were visiting their relative Nadeem in Lahore. She said the police had implicated them in a false case.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 18th, 2015.
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