Lahore: Moonis case transferred to sessions judge
LAHORE: Lahore High Court (LHC) Chief Justice Ijaz Ahmad Chaudhry transferred the National Insurance Corporation Limited (NICL) land scam case on Thursday to Lahore District and Sessions Court Judge Muhammad Mujahid Mustaqeem.
The case involves Pakistan Muslim League-Q MPA Moonis Elahi and others. The chief justice directed the federal government to issue a notification at the earliest to confer the powers of special court (banking offences) upon the sessions court judge so that he could start proceedings.
On July 5, Special Court judge (banking offences) Malik Abdul Rasheed had refused to hear the case after a heated debate with counsels for Mr Elahi. The judge had observed that the counsels tried to influence the court and referred the case to the LHC registrar.
NHA chief summoned: The Lahore High Court has summoned the National Highway Authority chairman on a writ petition that accused the NHA of awarding advertising and promotional contracts to a blue-eyed company in violation of rules.
Justice Umar Ata Bandial summoned the NHA chairman after it transpired that nether the authority nor the respondent private company filed their replies to the petition pending adjudication since Jan 2011 in the high court and heard by other judges too.
Advocate Muhammad Imran Chohan filed the petition submitting that NHA in 2005 awarded a contract and advertisement rights to Evolves Company for a period of five years at Rs1.3 million per annum rate for using Lahore-Sahiwal Motorway (M-5) for advertising purpose.
The petitioner said later in 2006 NHA in violation of rules awarded additional advertising rights to the company to use Lahore-Kala Shah Kaku Motorway (M-2) without charging any money. He stated that as the contract for M-5 was for five years, it expired in 2010 but the NHA extended it for two years without inviting fresh tenders.
The petitioner alleged that NHA instead of increasing rates extended an undue favour to the respondent company by reducing annual advertising charges from Rs1.3 million per year to Rs0.8 million per year.
He asserted that the NHA had no power to extend the five-year contract or reduce annual rates without inviting fresh tenders for open competition to the contractors. He prayed to the court to set aside the contract given by the highway authority to the company being illegal and in violation of rules. Further hearing will be held after summer vacation in the high court.