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Govt directed to submit report on petition against price hike

By Our Correspondent
May 24, 2019

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Thursday directed the provincial authorities to furnish a comprehensive report regarding soaring prices of essential commodities at Ramazan Bazaars in the province.

Hearing a petition against price hike in Ramazan bazaar, Justice Mamoonur Rasheed Sheikh directed the authorities to ensure that essential items are sold at their fixed prices at Ramazan bazaars.

The judge questioned why did price of sugar hike by Rs10 all of a sudden. “Why does sugar price increase even though this is not crushing season?” “Why is sugar price jacked up only in Ramazan,” he continued. Apparently, flour is being sold above the fixed price, he said, adding that why does livestock department not control the price of meat?

The judge remarked the provincial government instead of establishing Ramazan bazaars should take measures to check prices of essential items. “Essential commodities should be sold at their fixed prices at Ramazan bazaars,” Justice Sheikh said, questioning why does the government talk about fixing prices only in Ramazan? “Why measures are not taken to control prices throughout the year?” The court adjourned hearing till May 30 and sought report from Deputy Commissioner, district price control committee and livestock department.

Teacher’s plea dismissed: The Lahore High Court has dismissed a petition of a private university’s teacher challenging his removal from service for causing harassment to a female student. Asif Saleem was serving as assistant professor in a private university and was also a student of PhD at the Institute of Molecular Biology and Bio Technology.

On the complaint of a female student, an inquiry was initiated and the petitioner was dismissed from service under Protection against Harassment of Women at the Workplace (Amendment) Act, 2012 and was also expelled from the university as a student of PhD.

The petitioner filed an appeal before the ombudsperson against his removal but the same was dismissed. Punjab governor also rejected his appeal. The petitioner in his petition contended that the impugned orders were illegal and against the law and facts. He said no opportunity of personal hearing had been afforded to him, as such he had been condemned unheard.

A provincial law officer opposed the petition and sought its dismissal at limine stage by stating that after proper inquiry the petitioner had been found guilty of sexual harassment.

He said the petitioner was an assistant professor and the victim was his student and if such like acts were not curbed with iron hands the dignity and prestige of female students would be compromised at the hands of the teachers.

In the dismissal verdict, Justice Jawad Hassan observed that the working environment for women in a male-dominated society like Pakistan was often hostile and antagonistic, hindering their contribution to their country’s development as well as their right to employment. The judge said that in the instant case, the petitioner/teacher used his official position to sexually exploit his female student, and the intention of the legislature for enacting the Act was to protect all employees from being harassed or exploited during employment which can be at the workplace or any environment.

Online adds: A sessions court on Thursday disposed of a petition seeking registration of an FIR against the participants of the Aurat March and ordered the petitioner to approach the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) as that is the appropriate forum to address her allegation of immoral pictures being uploaded on social media. The petitioner had alleged that an FIR should be registered as immoral and unconstitutional acts were carried out at the march.

Additional District and Sessions Judge Amir Habib announced the verdict on the petition Thursday and noted that the police had said no illegal steps were taken during the rally. The court added that the FIA could register the case as a cybercrime. The order stated that the petition had alleged that immoral pictures of women were uploaded on social media which attract the application of the Prevention of Electronic Crime Act 2016 and added that a special court of the FIA was designated for this work.