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July 22, 2020

Notices to DC, AC for violating court order

Lahore

July 22, 2020

LAHORE:The Lahore High Court (LHC) Chief Justice Muhammad Qasim Khan on Tuesday issued contempt notices to deputy commissioner Sheikhupura and assistant commissioner Muridkay for using judicial powers in violation of a stay order issued by the court.

Justice Khan also asked chief secretary to explain as when the court order was conveyed to all commissioner offices in Punjab. On 9 July, the court had suspended the Punjab government’s June 17 notification which conferred judicial powers on commissioners, deputy commissioners and assistant commissioners etc in Punjab.

As hearing commenced, Barrister Moman Malik appeared on behalf of petitioner, Tanvir Abdullah, and stated that DC and AC exercised judicial powers and decided matters despite a stay order issued by the court. Justice Khan expressed displeasure and directed chief secretary to furnish details regarding conveying court order to officers concerned and the purported judicial powers used by the government functionaries.

The petitioner argued that under the Constitution and prevalent law executive and judiciary were two separate entities and they couldn't interfere into each other’s affairs. However, the Punjab government on 17 June granted powers of magistrate first class to commissioner and deputy commissioners in violation of law.

The petitioner's counsel pointed out that impugned notification was ultra vires of Article 2 & 9 of the Constitution as well as of section 14-A of Code of Criminal Procedure 1898.

He said as per judgments of the superior courts, the executive couldn't exercise judicial powers. Under the notification, the powers of special magistrate ( first class) were granted to all deputy commissioners, additional deputy commissioners (general), additional deputy commissioners etc. under Section 14-A of the CCP 1898 for carrying out raids, trials of offences and other ancillary matters relating to price control/hoarding prevention, forests, mines and minerals, food adulteration, food safety, encroachments on public lands and lands owned by the governments, canal and drainage, dangerous driving etc.