LAHORE: Justice Kh Imtiaz Ahmad of Lahore High Court on Tuesday referred to chief justice a petition against VIP culture after some preliminary arguments.
The Lawyers Foundation through its office bearer Sayed Feroze Shah Gilani moved the petition. He submitted that Pakistan was already under debt but the rulers were not inclined to lead a simple life.He said the elected representatives and other public functionaries were living luxurious life in palatial government houses. He said even the rulers built air-conditioned stables for their horses and provides them costly foods, which were not available even to poor people.
He submitted that the government was spending Rs 1 million per day on the staff, household and allowances of the president, Rs 1.2 million on the prime minister’s secretariat, Rs 2 million per day on the Senate, Rs4 million per day on the National Assembly and Rs 200 million per day on the cabinet secretariat. He submitted the government was printing Rs3 billion per day in cash and that was why the inflation rate was so high.He said over the past four years, public debt had risen from Rs6 trillion to Rs12 trillion. He said now every man, woman and child in Pakistan was indebted to the tune of Rs 61,000 each. He said the ruling elite of Islamic state was not following the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) and were contravening the constitution.
He submitted that customs and usages, which were a legacy of the colonial era, needed to be declared void under Article 8(1, 2) of the Constitution. He said in UK, which democratic system Pakistan was following, David Cameron used to ride a bicycle to go to parliament before he became prime minister and had to switch to using an official car because of security concerns.
He said that VIP and VVIP status was ultra vires of the constitutional provisions of equality, social and economic justice and principle of democracy as laid down by the religion. He said closure of roads for VIPs was a violation of fundamental rights. He said the presidency, prime minister house, governor houses, CM houses, ministers’ enclave and “palaces of all state functionaries” should be declared a violation of the principle of social justice.
He said that the rulers in England were not Muslim but they deemed to be followers of the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (PBUH). He requested that the court should direct respondents – the president, prime minister, federal law secretary, the interior secretary and Punjab chief secretary – to follow the example of state functionaries in the UK, who travelled in buses and trains.
He said all schools like Atchison College in Lahore must open their gates to the children of the poor. He said that no privileges of any kind including free electricity, gas or petrol should be provided to any person from the public exchequer.He also requested that government should be directed to abandon luxurious living in light of Article 38(b) of the Constitution.An identical petition filed by Jamatud Dawa chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed is also pending before the court. – DailyTimes