LAHORE: The apex court has directed owners/occupants of petrol pumps setup on the land of Lahore Development Authority (LDA) to submit written replies, which they are said to have obtained at disposable prices.
A three-member bench presided by Chief Justice Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar conducted the hearing on Thursday against the allotment of twenty-five owned by LDA to petrol pumps at cheap rates, reported Dawn.
Senior journalist Mujeebur Rehman Shami and other owners of the pumps were present at the hearing alongside LDA Director General Amina Imran Khan, deputy commissioner Anwarul Haq and Punjab interim law minister Zia Haider Rizvi.
Renowned journalist Mr Shami alleged he was a victim of character assassination as it seemed he was the owner of six petrol pumps in Lahore.
He pleaded to the court and said he had come here to seek justice. While addressing Mr Shami, CJP Nisar said it was a court of law and cautioned him from politicizing the issue.
He added, if an investigation was undertaken a lot of facts would be disclosed.
However, Mr Shami said the court was biased against him. CJP Nisar refreshing Mr Shami’s memory recalled how he had tried to approach the court in the appointment case of PTV chairman Ataul Haq Qasmi.
Mr Nisar warned the senior journalist that he could held in contempt of court and communicated his angst at knowing precious government land was leased out to petrol pumps on a paltry sum of Rs15,000 annually.
He expressed regrets over the government’s inability to safeguard its land. Punjab interim law minister apprised the apex court that a committee had been setup to carry out a detailed investigation into the matter.
CJP instructed the minister to conduct a meeting of the committee and provide a report by Friday (today).
The owner of the petrol pumps were also instructed to submit their respective written replies to the court.