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July 23, 2020

Plea against changing BISP name: LHC CJ shows dismay over law officer’s performance

Lahore

July 23, 2020

LAHORE:Lahore High Court Chief Justice Muhammad Qasim Khan Wednesday showed dismay over lackluster performance of a federal law officer in a case pertaining to changing the name of Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) and directed the law minister, law secretary and the attorney general to take notice of ill preparedness of the deputy attorney general.

The court was hearing the petition filed by PPP Punjab President Qamar Zaman Kaira, the first chairman of the BISP, pleading that the programme was initiated under a legal cover after the then parliament passed a law namely "Benazir Income Support Program Act 2010." He said the incumbent government illegally changed BISP name to Ehsaas Programme. Kaira submitted in the petition that the name of the programme could not be changed without amending the law and this exercise had not been done by the parliament. He pointed out that the government had not presented any bill in the parliament to amend the law.

He requested the court to set aside the government's move to change BISP name and restrain it from making any illegal change in the law. During the Wednesday’s hearing, Chief Justice Khan asked Deputy Attorney General Malik Israr as if any rules had been framed for Ehsas programme.

The law officer said a policy had been made for the new programme. The CJ found the law officer’s response unsatisfactory and observed that he appeared in the court without any preparation. The CJ asked the law minister, law secretary and the attorney general to look into the matter on departmental level.

DAG Israr told the court that he was not conversant with the case as he appeared in place of DAG Asad Ali Bajwa who had previously represented the government. However, the CJ observed that the law officer should have informed the court earlier and asked him to now explain his position before the department. The CJ adjourned hearing for two weeks.