LAHORE: Last week, Lahore High Court upheld a stay order against construction of a 1,320 megawatt coal-fired power project in Sahiwal. The government had filed a review petition against the order issued by Justice Mamoon Rashid Sheikh. The petition was taken up by Justice Masud Abid Naqvi on October 19.
Advocate General Naveed Rasool told the court that power generation was an important imperative. He said the government had launched a number of projects to address the problem as soon as possible. He asked the court to lift the stay. Justice Naqvi dismissed the petition and upheld the decision of the single bench. Earlier, Justice Sheikh had stayed the construction of the project in Sahiwal on a petition moved by Said Power Limited and others. Advocate Munawarus Salam and Waleed Khalid had told the court, on behalf of the petitioners, that the government had taken up the project without obtaining an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report. They said the government had taken no steps to preserve the environment. They said the practice of using coal for power plants was being discontinued worldwide due to the adverse effects on the environment. The petitioners said the coal-fired power plant would destroy agricultural land and affect health of residents of Sahiwal. They had asked the court to order the government to stop the construction.
Private schools’ fee structure
Justice Shams Mahmood Mirza remarked that the court had stopped the Punjab government from taking coercive measures against private schools but not from implementing the Punjab Private Educational Institutions and Regulations (Amendment) Ordinance. The judge was hearing a petition filed by Judicial Activism Panel and Civil Society Network challenging a stay issued in favour of private schools against implementation of the law on their fee structure.
Mian Mansha exempted from court appearance
The LHC exempted Muslim Commercial Bank (MCB) Chairman Mian Mansha and Director Khawaja Javed Iqbal from appearing personally before the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in connection with an inquiry on privatisation of the bank. At a previous hearing of their petition, the court had restrained the NAB from finalising the inquiry.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 26th, 2015.