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LAHORE: The provincial Cabinet Standing Committee on Legislative Business on Wednesday approved several matters including lifting a ban on recruitment of jail warders, establishing Sessions Courts in two tehsils and high security zones in various areas.

The meeting was held at the Civil Secretariat with Punjab Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Co-operatives and Environment Protection Raja Muhammad Basharat in the chair via video link from Rawalpindi.

Law Minister Khurram Shehzad Virk, Secretary Law Akhtar Javed, Secretary Specialised Healthcare Dr Ahmed Javed Qazi and other relevant officers also participated.

The committee approved the establishment of Sessions Courts in Tehsil Darya Khan of District Bhakkar and Tehsil Chowk Sarwar Shaheed of District Muzaffargarh on the request of the Home department. The Cabinet committee decided to give remission to Hindu, Sikh and Christian prisoners in Punjab jails for taking educational courses of their respective faiths.

The chair, however, directed the Punjab Prisons Inspector General to prepare undisputed religious courses for the minority prisoners and get consent of prominent scholars of the respective religions and the education department as well.

The cabinet committee also approved remission for those prisoners who took training courses organized by the technical education watchdog TEVTA. Approving the recruitment to address the shortage of warders in prisons, Raja Basharat said that recruitment of more educated people can help improve the culture of prisons.

“Educational qualification metric is fine, but there should be room for more educated people to become candidates,” he stressed while deferring the decision to set up 115 Special Sexual Offenses Investigation Units (SSOIUs) to investigate cases of sexual crimes, objecting that women are usually the victims of sexual abuse therefore the proposed SSOIUs should be staffed entirely by women or appoint a specific number of women. In this regard, the final decision was entrusted to the sub-committee under Standing Committee on Legislative Business.

The Cabinet committee also approved other decisions including reconstitute the Charities Commission under the Punjab Charities Act, establishment of the Institute of Urology and Transplantation in Rawalpindi and establishment of three independent environmental tribunals each in Lahore, Multan and Rawalpindi.

Moreover, the appointment of five members of DG Khan Development Authority was also approved. MPAs Hanif Khan Patafi, Sardar Ali Khan Dreshk, Shahina Tayyab Khosa and two technical members have been added to the Development Authority. The approval to lift the ban on the issue of arms licenses in Punjab has been subject to the directions from the chief minister.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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