LHC CJ Postpones Hearings Against Closure Of Six Trains
LAHORE: Lahore High Court Chief Justice Khawaja Sharif, for further arguments, on Thursday postponed the hearing of a petition challenging the closure of six intercity passenger trains by the Pakistan Railways. After hearing arguments from both parties, the CJ first reserved his judgment, but later held that some points had not been covered in the hearing and the same needed further explanation and then adjourned the matter. “When I was dictated the judgment, there were certain points which required elucidation. For this purpose this petition be set down for rehearing on August 16,” the CJ observed.
Pakistan Railway Union Secretary General Rana Shaukat Ali filed the petition. The petitioner’s counsel said the railways had closed three trains, including the Taiz Ro Express, Sialkot Express and Sakhi Abbas Express, and in a couple of months three other including the Shalimar, Mehran and Chaltin would also be closed.
He said the railways authorities had decided to close the trains primarily because of financial constraints, adding that the decision was not justifiable as it would be the passengers and railway employees who would end up suffering. He requested that the railways notification be declared illegal and an order be given to restore the service of the aforementioned trains. The railways authorities, through its counsel Sarfraz Ahmad Cheema, said in a written reply that the earnings of the closed trains was Rs 1,066.828 million against a cost of Rs 2,470.55 million, which had compelled the railways to close the trains as they could not sustain anymore losses. The counsel said that the railways was still operating 212 trains, which were enough to cater to the need of passengers on various routes of the country. staff report