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Shifting of Kot Lakhpat fruit and vegetable market

LHC issues notice to commissioner on contempt plea

LAHORE: Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah of the Lahore High Court (LHC), on Friday, issued notices to the commissioner, district coordination officer, Gulberg TMO and Model Town superintendent of police on a contempt of court petition moved by traders of Kot Lakhpat fruit and vegetable market.

The judge directed the respondents to file their replies till September 8. The petition was filed by Abdul Ghafoor and some other traders. The petitioners’ counsel submitted that the local administration wanted to shift the market from Kot Lakhpat and had issued notices to them on which they had to file a petition in the LHC.

He said that the LHC had, in March, stayed shifting of the Kot Lakhpat’s market.

The counsel said that even after the restraint order, the commissioner and DCO ordered to shift the market from Kot Lakhpat to Hadiara. He submitted that on these orders the district authorities, TMO Gulberg along with

police carried out an operation on July 11 and dispossessed the traders from the market and bulldozed their shops. He said that police even tortured the traders when they offered resistance against the illegal evacuation and arrested hundreds of them.

The counsel submitted that this act of the district government was in sheer violation of high court’s orders as the case against shifting of the market was still pending in the court and the stay order was also intact.

He requested initiation of contempt proceedings against the district authorities and police.

LHC issues notices to SHO, PEPCO adviser on plea for FIR quashment: Justice Muhammad Anwaarul Haq of the Lahore High Court (LHC), on Friday, issued notices to Old Anarkali Police Station SHO and Pakistan Electric and Power Company (PEPCO) legal adviser on a petition seeking quashment of an FIR lodged against Habibullah Khan, owner of a rental power project, on the charges of issuing a bogus cheque.

The judge directed both the respondents to file their replies till July 18. The petitioner’s counsel submitted that his client had participated in a bid invited by federal government in 2008 for the establishment of rental power projects and Khan’s company, M/s Young Gen Power Limited, being lowest bidder got the project.

He alleged that PEPCO’s legal advisor, Sardar Shahid Iqbal, demanded illegal gratification for the project’s approval, saying that the then Water and Power Federal Secretary Ismail Qureshi was his brother in-law and he was also the son of former LHC chief justice Sardar Muhammad Iqbal.

He also alleged that Shahid had threatened his client, saying that he could cancel his bid with help from Qureshi in case Khan did not give him money.

The counsel submitted that due to the pressure, Khan paid a total of Rs 9 million to Shahid between 2008 and 2010. He further alleged that Khan also gave Rs 50,000 per month to Shahid for his personal expenses. He said that after Khan started paying the money, an official letter was issued to him on September 6, 2008, and the project was started.

The counsel said that even then Shahid did not stop his illegal demands and again asked Khan to give him post-dated cheques worth Rs 7 million. He said that Khan kept giving him the post-dated cheques to keep his project intact. He submitted that during the process, the Supreme Court (SC) of Pakistan took a suo motu notice against rental power projects in 2008 and as per SC’s orders, Khan returned an amount of Rs.1, 25,9614740 given by the PEPCO as the project’s advance and the project was stopped.

He said that Shahid, when presented the petitioner’s post-dated cheques before the concerned bank, the same were dishonoured. Shahid then lodged a case against the petitioner with the Old Anarkali police on June 16. He said that Khan was granted bail in the case and he also filed a recovery suit against Sardar Shahid Iqbal and Ismail Qureshi. He requested that police be ordered to quash the FIR filed against him, stating it was illegal and based on mala fide intentions.

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