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SC summons anti-corruption head for ‘harassing’ mayor Lahore

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Monday heard the case regarding powers of mayor Lahore and issued notices to attorney general and the head of anti corruption department for allegedly harassing mayor of the Punjab capital, ARY News reported.

A petition was moved by retired Col Mubashar Javed, mayor of the Metropolitan Corporation Lahore (MCL), pleaded to restrain the Punjab government, which was contemplating dissolving the local governments pre-maturely before the completion of their five-year term, from doing so.

During the hearing today, a three-member SC bench headed by Justice Azmat Saeed said issuance of notice to attorney general of Pakistan was inevitable in the case.

Additional attorney general Punjab, who was also present in the court, said it was possible that the court may need to issue notice to other provinces. “Currently, we have the case of Punjab and we will hear it first,” Justice Saeed remarked. He added that powers of mayors in all provinces weren’t the same.

Director General Anti-Corruption Department (ACD) Hussain Asghar also submitted a statement before the court.

Read more: SC acquits murder suspect on ‘benefit of doubt’

However, counsel of mayor Lahore informed the court that some wedding laws were shut by the ACD recently and the anti-corruption teams didn’t bother to inform the mayor about it.

He said closure of wedding halls triggered protests of many people against mayor Lahore, which wasn’t his fault. Justice Saeed said it was not the domain of anti-corruption.

“It would be better that DG LDA and mayor Lahore become parties in the case”, said the judge.

The additional attorney general said the Punjab government would examine the authorities enjoyed by the ACD.

The Lahore Development Authority (LDA)’s director general told the court that ACD was harassing the LDA. “They are summoning LDA officers in irrelevant cases and force them to oblige to their orders,” he claimed.

“And those who do not obey their directives face legal action,” he continued.

Justice Azmat Saeed said a petition could be filed with the National Accountability Bureau against the ACD.

DG LDA said it was possible that anti-corruption officials were planning to arrest him. The judge responded to him, saying: “You could get pre-arrest bail in that case.”

The court directed the AAG to hold a discussion with director general ACD and also issued notices to attorney general and the head of anti corruption department.

The hearing was adjourned for a week.

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