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Plea to change judge rejected Notices to PU VC and ombudsperson

Plea to change judge rejected Notices to PU VC and ombudsperson

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court on Wednesday issued notices to the Punjab University vice chancellor, Punjab ombudsperson and others on a petition moved by lecturer Khujista Rehan seeking an inquiry into allegations of sexual harassment against the VC after restraining him from work.

Justice Farrukh Irfan Khan took up the petition and issued notices to the respondents holding a brief hearing.

Initially Advocate Aftab Bajwa, the petitioner`s counsel, requested the judge not to hear the petition and refer the same to the chief justice for its fixation before any other judge.

The counsel pointed out that the family of the judge had affiliation with the Punjab University, therefore, it would not be appropriate for him (judge) to hear the petition.

Justice Khan, however, took strongnotice of the counsel`s view and asked him to correct his information. The judge also rejected the argument of the counsel and observed: `Courts decide cases purely in accordance with law.

The judge issued notices to the respondents for Dec 3. Counsel for the VC received notice in the court.

Khujista Rehan, who had been complaining of being sexually harassed by VC Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran, contended in the petition that she approached Ombudsperson Mira Phailbus to take action against the VC under `Protection against Harassment of Women at Workplace (Amendment) Act 2012.

The petitioner said the ombudsperson disposed of the complaint on technical grounds without touching the merits of the case. She alleged the ombudsperson was influenced by the Punjab government.

The petitioner stated it was necessary that action should be taken against theVC as the matter pertained to public at large and the female teachers/students of the university as well.

She prayed to the court to stop the VC from working till finalisation of inquiry to be conducted by an honest and impartial person.

ADJOURNED: The Lahore High Court on Wednesday adjourned hearing of a petition seeking a stay order against election of the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF).

Former Olympian Naveed Alam filed this petition alleging the PHF election would be rigged massively as both contenders and members of the election commission were sitting on high posts of the federation.

The petitioner prayed to the court to stay the PHF election and direct the respondents to follow rules and regulations before holding the polls.

The court adjourned further hearing till Nov 27.

DAWN

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