CJP orders govt officers to refrain from protesting against Ahad Cheema’s arrest

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LAHORE: Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nasir on Saturday ordered the government officers to not protest against former Lahore Development Authority (LDA) director general Ahad Cheema’s arrest, while hearing the corruption in LDA-City housing schemes’ case.

Mian Saqib Nisar along with Justice Manzoor Ahmad Malik and Justice Ijazul Ahsan was hearing cases of public interest at the Lahore registry.

“Whoever wants to resign should go home,” the chief justice remarked in relation to the protesting bureaucrats.

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had arrested Ahad Cheema in relation to the Ashiana Housing Scheme corruption scandal.

Cheema, who was taken into custody by the anti-graft watchdog from the office of Punjab Power Company in Gulberg, faces charges of illegally allotting land for the housing scheme in Lahore.

The arrest came after Cheema failed to appear before the bureau despite several notices.

Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice summoned the complete record regarding the arrest and perks and privileges awarded to senior Punjab bureaucrat Ahad Cheema.

However, the chief justice remarked that persons summoned by NAB should appear before the anti-corruption watchdog.

Moreover, the chief justice questioned how a resolution was passed against NAB by the Punjab Assembly, observing that tomorrow a resolution could also be passed against the Supreme Court’s orders.

The Punjab Assembly, on Feb 28, had passed a resolution against NAB’s action against Cheema, terming it a violation of basic human rights.

During the hearing, the chief justice asked the Punjab chief secretary and Lahore Development Authority (LDA) director general about Cheema’s whereabouts and current posting, to which it was stated that Cheema presently heads the Quaid-e-Azam Power Plant.

The bench, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan also heard a suo motu case pertaining to sale of contaminated chicken meat.

During the court proceedings, a report based on tests of chicken meat available in the markets of Punjab was submitted to the court.

In light of the report findings, the bench was informed that the meat is not hazardous to human health and no signs of bacterial contamination have been found, to which, Justice Nisar expressed gratification.

The Director General (DG) Punjab Food Authority (PFA) informed the bench that his department would prepare standard operating procedure (SOP) within a month and train the staff to conduct visits to poultry farms across the province.

Previously, the CJP had formed a three-member committee to collect samples of chicken feed and undertake the test. Justice Nisar observed that chicken meat, available in Punjab markets, was triggering hormonal changes in the human body.

Orignally published by INP

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