Govt Receives LHC Reprimand in Maryam’s Case

Taking exception to non-seriousness shown by the federal government towards proceedings on a petition against appointment of Maryam Nawaz as chairperson of the Prime Minister Youth Loan Programme, the Lahore High Court on Wednesday hinted at suspending payments being made under the loan scheme.

Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah gave this observation when a federal law officer arrived in court without a reply and no representative of the loan programme attended the proceedings. Justice Shah expressed dismay over the casual approach of the government towards the court’s proceedings. The judge observed that payments being made under the loan scheme might be stopped if the government failed to come up with legal justification of the scheme. On the previous hearing, the judge had sought a reply from Maryam Nawaz, however, no one appeared on her behalf on Wednesday.

A deputy attorney general, Amir Rehman, asked the court to give another chance to submit the reply. Justice Shah allowed the request with a warning to summon chairperson of the youth loan programme if the reply was not submitted on the next hearing on Nov 10. PTI leader Zubair Niazi filed the petition saying the appointment was a result of nepotism. The petitioner mainly argued that the appointment of Maryam Nawaz was made in violation of law as neither a public notice nor an advertisement was issued before the impugned appointment. He asked the court to set aside the appointment and restrain Maryam from working till final disposal of the petition.

A three-judge bench of the Supreme Court on Wednesday heard a suo motu case regarding deaths of over 200 patients due to the medicine supplied by the Punjab Institute of Cardiology (PIC) and summoned the Punjab health secretary and the advocate general on the next date. Heading the bench at the SC’s Lahore registry, Justice Mian Saqib Nisar also expressed concern over deteriorating conditions of public health facilities in the province. The bench directed the health secretary and the AG to come up with a report about enforcement of recommendations given by a judicial commission that held an inquiry into the deaths.

The bench will resume hearing on Nov 7. At least 200 cardiac patients had lost their lives after consuming free-of-cost medicine they obtained from the PIC in 2012. A Karachi-based pharmaceutical firm — Efroze Chemicals — was the manufacturer of tablet “Isotab”, that resulted in the deaths. Shadman police had registered a case against the pharmaceutical company and government officials involved in the scam. Then chief justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry had taken suo motu notice of the deaths. fake degree case:

An additional district and sessions judge will take up a fake degree case of Abdul Qadir Gilani, son of former prime minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani, here on Thursday (today). The judge had in previous hearing ordered the Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) director to submit a report of an inquiry held against Punjab University’s officials for issuing a fake degree of graduation to Mr Gillani. Prof Dr Zahid Mahmood of the Punjab University had in his petition alleged that vice-chancellor Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran used his influence and got the inquiry delayed. -dawn