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LHC seeks report on rape of minor girl by cleric in Vehari

LHC seeks report on rape of minor girl by cleric in Vehari

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Friday sought a report from the Vehari district and sessions judge on an incident reported in section of the press that her teacher in Mailsi molested a four-year-old seminary student.

The LHC directed the sessions judge to look into the matter and submit a detailed report within a week regarding steps taken by the local police, along with his own comments.

According to media reports, the girl’s father, a resident of Nawan Shehr in Mailsi, lodged an FIR that he had dropped his daughter at the Shaheedanwala seminary in the neighbourhood.

He said that more than 70 children from five nearby villages were also enrolled there. It was the girl’s first day at the seminary, and the chief cleric had asked him to drop her at his office, as the cleric would introduce her to other children.

When the father went to pick her up at noon, he was told that his daughter was still in the cleric’s office and the cleric was missing. When he broke into the room, he found the girl lying unconscious.

She was taken to the district headquarters hospital where doctors treating her said that her condition was critical and a surgery needed to be performed. Dr Tahira Parveen at the district headquarter hospital told the press that the girl’s medico-legal examination confirmed that she had been sexually assaulted.

The residents of the area later staged a protest and announced a boycott of all seminaries.

District Police Officer Sadiq Ali Dogar said that a police team had arrested the suspect from another seminary where he had been hiding. He said the suspect had been shifted to an undisclosed location on account of the neighbours’ threat of violence. He said that two other clerics from the seminary were also reportedly missing after the incident.

LPS on bills: Justice Shahzada Mazhar of the Lahore High Court on Monday will hold preliminary hearing on a petition against 10 per cent late payment surcharge (LPS) on electricity bills.

The petition was moved by two companies m/s Flying Cement Company Limited and m/s Flying Paper Industries Limited. Counsel for the petitioner Muhammad Azhar Siddique stated that the power supply authorities had imposed the LPS and demand the same through monthly utility bill in case the bill was paid after the due date.

He stated that this imposition was not only illegal but also unjustified, unwarranted in law and without any basis.

He said that it was the basic right of the citizen that electricity must be provided at the rate that was rational, reasonable, and justified. He said that if the supply was made at exorbitant prices, which had no nexus to reality, the same not only affected the standard of life of the citizens but also made manufacturing and commercial activities unattractive, adversely affecting the economic well-being of citizens.

He stated that the present abnormal and excessive rates were due to the inefficiency on part of the authorities who were responsible for generation, transmission and distribution of energy to the consumers who had the basic right under Article 14 to have access to electricity at reasonable rates, which should be determined in accordance with the law, especially Section 7 and 31 of the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority Act, 1997 (NEPRA Act).

He stated that the LPS levied, imposed, charged and recovered by the distribution companies was not only illegal but ultra vires the constitution, the Electricity Act, 1910 and the NEPRA Act, 1997.

He stated that the surcharge was in the nature of penalty and penalty could not be imposed without legislation.

He requested the court to declare this levy illegal, unconstitutional, void, fraud on the consumers and ultra vires the Electricity Act, 1910 and NEPRA Act, 1997.

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