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January 17, 2012

DCO told to explain wedding halls timing


Web Desk
January 17, 2012

THE Lahore High Court (LHC) on Thursday sought reply from the district coordination officer (DCO), Lahore, on a petition challenging the Punjab government’s action to close marriage functions at 10pm.
Chief Justice Sh Azmat Saeed passed the order on a petition filed by Javaid Nasir, owner of a marriage hall and General Secretary, Lahore Marriage Halls Association. The court asked the DCO to identify the law under which marriage halls were being closed at 10 pm.
The petitioner termed the government action to stop marriage functions at 10 pm malafide, contending the government step had no legal cover.
He appealed to the court to declare the action as unconstitutional as it was a fundamental right of every citizen to do lawful business with freedom.
If necessary, he submitted, the government should make midnight as the deadline as functions were mostly held between 10pm and 12pm at night, according to Lahore’s culture.
The petitioner questioned the government’s logic that 10pm deadline would save electricity or fight terrorism, maintaining that the 10pm deadline was resulting in more consumption of electricity as it compelled people to hold wedding function at peak hours, instead of late night.
He said the deadline had seriously affected the business of marriage halls. Families and their guests, he claimed, were also in trouble due to the deadline as it was hard to participate in functions under the sword of deadlines.
Mostly, relatives and friends participated in wedding ceremonies, he said, ruling out the possibility of security threats in such functions, unlike theatres and cinema halls.
He argued that the government should not target one sector only. If it was determent to save electricity, he contended, the government should also implement the same rules for other functions, including cinema halls. The court will resume hearing on January 24.

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