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March 2, 2019

Petroleum minister’s diploma genuine, court told


March 2, 2019

LAHORE: The Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) on Friday told the Lahore High Court that a diploma of Punjab Board of Technical Education possessed by Federal Minister for Petroleum Ghulam Sarwar Khan had been found genuine.

ACE Deputy Director Abdul Majeed stated before the court that allegations against the minister of having obtained a fake diploma had been found baseless during a thorough inquiry. He said a report would soon be filed before the trial court for the cancellation of an FIR lodged against the minister. The court adjourned hearing for March 4 for further arguments in the case.

Sarwar Khan had filed a petition challenging the jurisdiction of the anti- corruption court to hear a case about his alleged fake degree of graduation. He had alleged that the trial court was holding proceedings against him at the behest of then government of the PML-N.

It is to mention that the ACE in its earlier report filed before the trial court had declared the minister guilty and his indictment had been delaying due to his non-appearance before the court. The other day, the trial court had expressed serious dismay over continuous non-appearance of the minister and summoned him for March 19 with a warning of issuing his arrest warrants in case of failure.

In 2012, the ACE had lodged the FIR against Sarwar Khan and others under Sections 420, 468, 471, 218, 109 of the Pakistan Penal Code and under Section 5(2) 47 Prevention of Corruption Act 1947 on charges of corruption and having fake diploma from Punjab Board of Technical Education.

Notices: The Lahore High Court on Friday issued notices to the federal government and Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) on a petition seeking a ban on trade, exhibition and selling of Indian films in Pakistan in the wake of tension on borders.

A citizen namely Sheikh Muhammad Latif filed a petition through Advocate Nadeem Sarwar pleading that the Import Policy Order 2016 announced by the federal government had banned the import of all Indian films and other content. However, he said then prime minister through a notification of ministry of information on January 31, 2017 announced that display of all international movies, including Indian films in Pakistan would continue under the garb of revival of Pakistani film and cinema industry.

The lawyer argued that the notification was unlawful as it had not been approved by the federal cabinet, which was mandatory under a Supreme Court judgment in Mustafa Impex case of 2012.

He contended that following the recent terror attack in Pulwama (Indian Held Kashmir), the All India Cine Workers officially announced a total ban on Pakistani actors working in Indian film industry and also banned songs vocalised by Pakistani singers.

The counsel pleaded that the Supreme Court in a recent judgment ordered the government to take strict action against airing of Indian content on television channels. He asked the court to set aside the impugned notification of January 31, 2017 for being unlawful and direct the government to immediately impose a complete ban on exhibition of Indian films and other content in view of the SC order. Justice Sajid Mahmood Sethi heard the arguments and sought replies from the respondent within a week.

challenged: The recent increase in the prices of petroleum products has been challenged before the Lahore High Court “for being unlawful.”

Judicial Activism Panel (JAP) in a petition pleaded that the federal government on Feb 28 last increased the prices of petroleum products, which was illegal and unconstitutional in view of Article 3 of the constitution read with the provisions of Sales Tax Act 1990.

The JAP’s counsel stated the government was stealing billion of rupees from the pockets of the citizens. He said that the government could not levy taxes more than 17 percent.

The counsel requested the court to set aside the increase in the petroleum prices and also declare that sales tax on petroleum products more than 17 per cent was illegal.

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