The Supreme Court (SC) gave another week to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chief Imran Khan to reply to the reports submitted by Bhara Kahu Union Council (UC) officials on Wednesday regarding permission to build his palatial Bani Gala residence.
A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Saqib Nisar is hearing a suo motu case regarding encroachments and environmental degradation in Bani Gala and the felling of trees around the area. It observed that the court was more concerned about the public health aspect of the case and remarked that they did not want the public to consume contaminated and hazardous water.
Additional Attorney General (AAG) Nayyar Rizvi, while submitting his report in the SC, had said that he could not verify the permission submitted by the counsel of Imran Khan for the construction of his residence in Bani Gala.
A day earlier, former Bhara Kahu UC chairman Yaqoob Malik and former secretary Mohammad Umar, in separate statements, had claimed in the Supreme Court that the No-Objection Certificate (NOC) submitted in court by Imran’s lawyer regarding permission to build on his Bani Gala property had not been issued by the UC.
SC directs PTI chief to submit reply in 'forged' NOC cas
When the court resumed the hearing on Thursday, Imran’s counsel Babar Awan was not present and Faisal Chaudhry had appeared in court to represent the PTI chief. Chaudhry, while denying reports published in newspapers regarding the fake NOC submitted by Imran, sought time from the court for submitting a reply. The court gave him one week more to reply.
Last year, the apex court was informed by the Capital Development Authority of over 100 ‘illegal structures’ around Islamabad, including the PTI chief’s residence in Bani Gala.
On the February 22 hearing, Imran’s counsel had submitted documents to show that the Bhara Kahu UC had given him permission to build in Bani Gala.
Meanwhile, the court issued notices to ten parties that had gotten land in Lake View Park on lease from the CDA, alongside Walled City of Lahore Authority Director General Kamran Lashari, who was the CDA chairman when the leases were given in 2007.
The court also ordered the incumbent CDA chairman to submit a comprehensive report on whether the land is being utilised for the same purpose for which it was leased out. In addition, the court asked him to submit details on how much every lessee was paying and how many were defaulters.
Forged documents? No NOC issued for Imran’s Bani Gala mansion, SC told
CDA had told the court that the authority was charging one lac rupees per annum besides of 5 per cent profit against one-acre land.
The court then asked whether the low charges were permissible under the law. The court gave the CDA chairman one week to submit all details of the leases. Regarding the flow of contaminated water into Rawal Lake, the court directed the CDA to devise a pragmatic policy with the consultation of all stakeholders.
Earlier, Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD) Minister Dr Tariq Fazal Chaudhry had submitted short and long-term plans to stop contamination in Rawal Lake. The chief justice asked Chaudhry whether he had inspected the water filtration plant of Rawal Lake.
CDA sources later told The Express Tribune that the authority is likely to hold a meeting with stakeholders on Friday to devise a mechanism to control the flow of raw sewerage into Rawal Lake from nearby areas such as Bani Gala, which lack proper sewage systems.
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