Pakistani court adjourns hearing of petition seeking contempt proceedings for not naming Lahore chowk after Bhagat Singh

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Lahore, Jun 8 (PTI) A Pakistani court on Friday adjourned the hearing of a petition seeking contempt proceedings against the government for not complying with the court’s order regarding renaming a chowk in Lahore after Independence war hero Bhagat Singh for three months.

Bhagat Singh was hanged at Lahore’s Shadman Chowk by colonial British rulers on March 23, 1931, after being tried under charges of hatching a conspiracy against the regime. The freedom fighter is respected in the subcontinent not only by Sikhs and Hindus but also by Muslims.

Lahore High Court Justice Shams Mahmood Mirza on Friday adjourned the further hearing of the case till September 13, on the request of one of the respondents.

During the hearing, Assistant Advocate General Punjab Asghar Laghari told the court that Deputy Commissioner, Lahore, Rafia Haider (one of the respondents) requested for an adjournment as she has been abroad for a couple of months.

The petitioner's counsel, advocate Khalid Zaman Khan Kakar, told the court that there had already been a lot of delay in the matter, therefore, it should decide forthwith.

"After hearing the arguments from both sides, the LHC adjourned the proceedings till September 13," a court official said.

Earlier, the LHC had issued notices to Punjab Chief Secretary Zahid Akhtar Zaman and Deputy Commissioner Lahore.

Rafia Haider and the administrator of the City District Government sought a reply to the petition of the Bhagat Singh Memorial Foundation Pakistan in this regard.

The foundation chairman, Imtiaz Rasheed Qureshi, had filed the contempt petition for their failure to name the Shadman Chowk after Bhagat Singh.

Qureshi said that the LHC in 2018 had ordered the government to name the Shadman Chowk after Bhagat Singh where he was hanged in 1931.

"But both the provincial and district governments deliberately did not comply with the LHC's order thus committing contempt," he said.

Bhagat Singh fought for the independence of the subcontinent. Singh was hanged by British rulers on March 23, 1931, along with Raj Guru and Sukhdev after being tried under charges of hatching a conspiracy against the regime. Singh was initially jailed for life but later awarded the death sentence in another “fabricated case”.

Founder of Pakistan Qauid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah had reportedly twice paid him tribute during his speech in the central assembly saying there had never been any brave person in the subcontinent like Bhagat Singh.

Qureshi stated that Bhagat Singh was a freedom fighter of the subcontinent and gave his life along with his companions for the cause of freedom.

"It will be in the interest of justice to name Shadman Chowk after Bhagat Singh and also install his statue at the square to inspire the people of Pakistan and the world," he said. PTI MZ GSP GSP