LAHORE: Lahore High Court (LHC) Chief Justice Muhammad Qasim Khan on Tuesday overruled an office objection to a public-interest petition questioning alleged corruption committed in the computerised case management system installed at the court by the Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB).

The office had objected to the maintainability of the petition, saying the LHC registrar could not be made a party.

Advocate Azhar Siddique, the petitioner’s counsel, told the chief justice that he had sought no relief against the registrar but made him pro forma respondent. A pro forma respondent is a respondent against whom no relief is sought and arrayed as a party as a matter of formality.

Chief Justice Khan overruled the office objection and also hailed the lawyer for pursuing the public-interest litigation.

The CJ observed that public-interest litigation was a good way to protect the rights of the citizens.

In the petition, the petitioner had contended that the PITB had installed the case management system at the LHC with Rs500m and alleged that huge money had been misappropriated in the project. He said a forensic report of the project had not been made public to hide the corruption.

He asked the court to order the government to make the forensic report public so that the responsible could be taken to task.

Published in Dawn, EOS, June 16th, 2021

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