Punjab commissioners no longer have the special powers to conduct trials on price control and sentence people after the Lahore High Court suspended the provincial government’s June 18 notification on Thursday.
A man had filed a petition against the notification and said that the powers of the executive and judiciary are different. The notification is against the Constitution.
The court has asked the Punjab government to submit a detailed reply on it.
It seems the Punjab government wants judicial powers too, remarked Chief Justice Qasim Ali Khan. If the notification is declared null and void, then contempt notices will be issued to the Punjab CM and chief secretary, he added. “We won’t allow the government to mock the courts.”
On June 18, the Punjab government had given the powers of the special magistrates to its executive field officers, including all deputy commissioners, additional deputy commissioners of revenue, general, F&P and assistant commissioners.
They were given the power to conduct raids, hold trials relating to hoarding, food adulteration, driving offences among others, and sentence those responsible. The powers were given to them under Section 14-A of the Code of Criminal Procedure which allows the provincial government to appoint special magistrates.