LAHORE: The Lahore High Court on Monday directed the Punjab government to strictly implement anti-smoking law at public places and take action against the violators.
Justice Ali Akbar Qureshi was hearing a petition moved by Advocate Azhar Siddique questioning non-implementation of “Prohibition of Smoking and Protection of Non-Smokers Health Ordinance 2002”.
The lawyer argued that the government had failed to enforce the law at public places, public vehicles and educational institutions. He pointed out that under the law no person shall smoke or use tobacco in any other form at any public place. He said the law restricted sale, distribution of cigarettes or any other smoking substance or any other tobacco products within 50 metres from any educational institution.
The lawyer contended that the non-implementation of the anti-smoking law had been leading to health-related problems among students and non-smoker citizens. He asked the court to order the government authorities to ensure enforcement of the law.
Justice Qureshi directed the Punjab chief secretary to hold an immediate meeting on the matter and issue necessary instructions to the departments concerned for the implementation of the anti-smoking law.
The judge also summoned the social welfare department directer general for Tuesday (today).
In another matter, the judge directed the Auqaf department and the district government to demolish all illegal compounds in Miani Sahib graveyard and submit a compliance report on Oct 5.
Separately, the judge directed the government to speed up operation to restore The Mall to its original condition.
Advocate Siddique told the judge that the restoration process for The Mall was being done at a snail’s pace despite an order by the court. He said the historic buildings on The Mall were still in a dilapidated condition.
Justice Qureshi directed the government to accelerate the restoration work on The Mall and submit a progress report within a fortnight.
Published in Dawn, October 2nd, 2018