Pharmacists` petition disposed of

November 24, 2011

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LAHORE, Nov 23: The Lahore High Court disposed of a contempt of court petition on Wednesday filed by 68 ad hoc pharmacists challenging their removal despite a stay order by the court.

Justice Umar Ata Bandial disposed of the matter after the Punjab government said it had held in abeyance the process of filling vacant vacancies of pharmacists.

Petitioner pharmacists submitted in their petition that the matter pertained to their regularization was pending before the high court and the Health Secretary was restrained from taking any adverse action against them till the decision of the case.

They said despite the stay order issued by the court, the health secretary terminated their services. They prayed to the court to set aside their termination being illegal and without lawful authority and initiate contempt proceedings against the respondent Secretary. The court on last hearing had suspended the termination orders of the petitioners. reply sought: The LHC sought a reply from the Punjab government on a petition challenging appointment of Ashtar Ausaf Ali as prosecutor-general of Punjab (PGP).

Petitioner-advocate Sultan Ahmad Irshad said when the post of PGP fell vacant, the prosecution department conducted interviews of 44 candidates. He said the government did not consider anyone of the 44 candidates, including him, and appointed Mr Ashtar instead.

He pointed out the respondent had not applied for the post nor he appeared before the interview committee. He alleged this appointment was not on merit but was on political grounds, which was violation of the rules, law and the Constitution.

The petitioner prayed the appointment of the respondent PGP be declared null and void and illegal and the chief minister and secretaries of the law and prosecution departments be taken to task and proceeded as per law. The court directed the government to file the reply within two weeks.

Meanwhile, Justice Umar Ata Bandial will take up a writ petition seeking directions for the federal government to place the name of Husain Haqqani, former ambassador to the US, on the ECL and initiate high treason proceedings against him on charges of violating the Constitution.

Barrister Javed Iqbal Jafree filed this petition on behalf of a citizen, Iftikhar Rajpoot. —Staff Reporter