LAHORE: The Lahore High Court has directed the sessions judges of all the districts in Punjab to check in their relevant territories whether the Holy Quran is being taught as a separate subject as claimed by the education department.

“The learned district and sessions judges shall also obtain the signature of the principal/headmaster on the report of the school as a token of its correctness,” says a verdict issued by Justice Shahid Waheed of a last week hearing on an appeal by Altamash Saeed.

The school education department secretary filed a report confirming that the chief executive officers of the district education authorities have visited all the schools (public, private, madressahs) in their respective areas and confirmed that the Holy Quran is being taught in every school as a separate subject.

However, the judge, in the order, observes that the information brought into the notice of the court is contrary to the government’s report. The judge observes that the matter is of serious public importance and the court wants the report filed by the school department to be counter-verified by the district judiciary.

Therefore, the judge directs that all the district education authorities shall send their complete record to the district & sessions judge concerned by Nov 15. The judge orders that the D&SJs or their nominees will not only check whether the Holy Quran is being taught as a separate subject but also counter-verify that the facts narrated in the report submitted by the secretary school education department are correct in all respects.

The D&SJs have been asked to furnish their reports by Nov 29.

The next hearing would be resumed on Nov 24.

Published in Dawn, November 12th, 2021

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