Petition challenging powers of justice of peace admitted

Court seeks assistance from attorney general, advocate general

LAHORE – The Lahore High Court, admitting a petition challenging powers of justice of peace to order registration of cases under 22-A/22-B, stayed proceedings for a criminal case registration before an additional district and sessions judge (justice of peace).

The court also sought assistance from the Attorney General of Pakistan and Advocate General of Punjab in the matter. The single bench comprising Justice Muhammad Khalid Mehmood Khan passed the orders on a petition filed by Mian Atif Mehmood, owner of a factory.

Earlier, the petitioner's counsel arguing before the court submitted that a sub-section (6) was incorporated in section 22-A of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1898 through Code of Criminal Procedure (Third Amendment) Ordinance 2002. The amendment authorises justice of peace to order registration of cases on complaints, he pointed out.

He contended that the amendment had lapsed and no longer existed and protected in terms of Article 270-AA. He further contended that powers of justice of peace under Section 22-A/ 22-B were no longer effective. The counsel submitted that an additional district and sessions judge was hearing a petition for directions to register a case against the petitioner despite the fact that it had no powers.

He pleaded the court to set aside proceedings pending against the petitioner before the additional district and sessions judge. The court after hearing the initial arguments stayed the AD&SJ from proceeding on petition against the petitioner and sought assistance from the attorney general of Pakistan and the advocate general of Punjab besides adjourning the matter.

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