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LAHORE: The Lahore High Court took exception on Tuesday to use of grounds of the Punjab University and the Government College University (GCU) by the previous provincial government for the construction of Orange Line Metro Train project.

During hearing of a petition against the encroachment of grounds in the city, counsel for the PU told the court that former vice chancellor Mujahid Kamran handed over the ground to the contractor after getting approval from the syndicate.

The counsel for the GCU said the ground was given to the contractor after a mutual contract was signed between both sides.

Justice Ali Akbar Qureshi expressed displeasure over the situation and observed that the Orange Line Train project ruined the beauty of Lahore. He further observed that the use of grounds for any other purpose was also a violation of Supreme Court’s judgments.

Justice Qureshi said the court could refer the matter to the National Accountability Bureau for probe. He adjourned hearing and directed the project contractor to deposit Rs4 million with the court as surety.

In another case, the judge directed the Lahore police to lodge cases against encroachers around Data Darbar shrine as well as enhance number of personnel of law-enforcement agencies in plainclothes for strict monitoring of suspects.

Earlier, the capital city police officer submitted a report that foolproof arrangements had been made for the security of the shrine.

The legal adviser of the Aufaq department told the court that meeting of shrine’s committee had not been held since 2014. He said that former finance minister Ishaq Dar was head of committee.

At this, Justice Qureshi observed that as to how a non-official person was made part of the committee. He directed the department to reconstitute the committee in a day, comprising government officials.

Hearing another case about illegal parking lots on The Mall, the judge restrained traders of Hall Road and Panorama Shopping Centre from using government’s land for their private parking facilities.

The judge warned the representatives of the traders of strict action if they again tried to encroach the government’s land and directed the Lahore Parking Company to establish its parking lot outside the land.

RANA SANAULLAH: The Lahore High Court disposed of a petition filed by former provincial law minister Rana Sanaullah challenging withdrawal of his security.

A law officer assured the court that the former law minister would be provided with security as per the law. The court disposed of the petition in light of the government’s undertaking.

Rana Sanaullah had pleaded that he remained provincial minister and member of the cabinet from 2008 to 2018. He said he had been facing life threats before and after the recent general election. Mr Khan said the government withdrew his security making him vulnerable to any untoward incident.

He asked the court to stop the government from withdrawing his security. In this case, the court had already restrained the government from withdrawing security of the petitioner.

Published in Dawn, September 5th, 2018