Lahore High Court Orders Reevaluation of Rental Purpose for Examination Center Building

Justice Shahid Kareem of the Lahore High Court heard the petition of teacher representative Kashif Shehzad and others. Counsel for the teachers, Mr. Dawood Advocate, argued that the Lahore Board building cannot be used for any purpose other than examinations, citing previous rulings by the higher judiciary spanning fifty years. The Punjab government seeks to forcibly lease the examination center on Lawrence Road for non-educational purposes, potentially impacting the rights of millions of students.

Additional Advocate General Samia Khalid, representing the Punjab government, countered that the government has the authority to lease the Lahore Board’s premises. Justice Shahid Kareem inquired about the intended use of the building, to which the government’s lawyer responded that they intend to shift their employees to the examination center.

The court remarked that the government seems to be admitting that they are not leasing the building for educational purposes. The Higher Education Department cannot forcibly lease the examination center building.

Mr. Mahboob Sheikh, representing the Lahore Board, argued that under the law, the board can lease its buildings. However, he clarified that they can only be leased for educational purposes. Both the Lahore Board’s lawyer and the government’s lawyer assured the court of their willingness to place advertisements in newspapers for the leasing process.

After hearing the arguments, the court ordered a reevaluation of the decision to lease the Lawrence Road examination center, emphasizing that it should only be leased for educational purposes. This decision underscores the importance of upholding educational institutions’ integrity and ensuring that resources are used solely for the advancement of education.