The Lahore High Court building. – File Photo

LAHORE: Lahore High Court (LHC) Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial on Monday issued notice to the Religious Affairs Ministry and others for June 27 on an application seeking directions to restrain PIA for illegally abetting Haj Group Organisers (HGOs) by reserving seats for the pilgrims.

The CJ passed the orders on a civil miscellaneous application filed by Ashfaq Ahmad Mirza through his counsel Muhammad Azhar Siddique in a pending contempt matter.

Earlier, the petitioner's counsel submitted that the contempt proceedings against respondents were pending before the court and earlier they had been directed to allocate 5 per cent quota to the newly enrolled HGOs on priority basis after reducing the quota of existing HGOs. He said that the court had also directed for necessary action in this regard, to be taken by the respondents.

Azhar Siddique said the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) through newspapers' advertisements asked those HGOs to whom the quota had been allocated for upcoming Haj 2012 to deposit the certain amount for the reservations of seats in the booking offices of the PIA in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad.

The counsel said the act of the PIA was tantamount to committing a contempt of court because they had abetted respondents for violating the orders of the court.

He prayed to the court that PIA should be restrained from announcement for asking HGOs for reservation of seats of the Hujjaj for upcoming Hajj 2012 and all respondents be directed to act in accordance with the order announced on June 21.

The CJ after hearing the arguments issued notice to the respondents and sought reply by June 27.

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