Writ petition: Nowshera DC ordered to open botanical garden

District govt cancelled lease even though it was not authorised to

Our Correspondent May 11, 2016

PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court has ordered the Nowshera DC to open the botanical garden on GT Road and allow students to take classes there. The bench also issued a contempt of court notice for not complying with court order to allow students to take classes at the botanical garden.

The orders were issued by a division bench, comprising Justice Irshad Qaiser and Justice Syed Afsar Shah, on Wednesday while hearing a writ petition filed by the syndicate of the University of Peshawar.

When hearing commenced, petitioner’s counsel Waseemuddin Khattak said Nowshera DC, reportedly on the directions of district nazim, cancelled the lease of the botanical garden on April 20, 2016. He said the garden was located on 689 kanals of land on GT Road. The land leased out to the university for 99 years for setting up the garden.

Khattak said the garden was set up on 77 kanal where more than 200 MPhil and PhD students were carrying out research.

He said the district government cancelled lease of 567 kanal and a notification was issued in December 2015. He added a reply was filed in response to the notification.

Khattak added the district government cancelled the lease while it was not authorised to do so.

According to the counsel, international institutions were also interested to play a role in its development and the cancellation would affect hundreds of students.

Waseemuddin argued, “The high court had stayed cancellation of lease but the DC was not allowing students to take classes inside the garden, forcing them to take classes on road.”

He added, “It was tantamount to contempt of court, therefore, the DC should be issued a contempt of court notice.” After hearing the arguments, the bench ordered the DC to open the locks of the garden and allow students to attend classes inside it.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 12th, 2016.


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