PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court has set a deadline of August 23 to recover encroached property of graveyards from the clutches of the land-mafia.
The court on Thursday directed the district coordination officers (DCOs) to implement court orders with immediate effect or face dire consequences, including contempt of court proceedings or arrest.
The division bench at the suo moto hearing comprised of PHC Chief Justice (CJ) Dost Muhammad Khan and Justice Khalid Mehmood. The notice was taken on an application filed by around 73 residents of Peshawar, who claimed that some influential people had illegally occupied graveyard land for construction.
The recently appointed Peshawar DCO Javed Marwat informed the court that he had taken charge on June 6, requesting the court to give him more time so he could study the case and act accordingly.
“See the court’s orders and start implementing them immediately,” remarked CJ Khan, asking officials of the revenue department to let the court know of what their department had been doing during this time.
“The paper work is ready and we will soon start taking action,” responded an official.
Later, the court warned all DCOs across Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa to reclaim the occupied land, adjourning proceedings until August 23.
During the last hearing on April 2, the former DCO Peshawar Siraj Ahmad Khan had informed the court of a survey, which revealed that approximately 9.75 acres of land out of almost 11 donated by the Auqaf Department in Peshawar had been confiscated.
Some of the land had also been illegally occupied by government schools, basic health units and tube wells.
The chief justice has already directed all civil judges not to interfere into the matter and told those having any claims against encroachments to approach the high court.