The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Monday sought a report and comments from the Punjab government and Lahore Development Authority (LDA) on a petition challenging the construction of the Liberty Park and Ride Plaza and alleged closure of pubic roads to facilitate the plaza.
Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed directed the respondents to respond within two weeks and observed that it appeared that the plaza plan was drawn up “by officers while sitting in air-conditioned offices”.
The petition was filed by six shop owners at Liberty Market through Advocate Muhammad Azhar Siddique contending that the transfer of an open space owned by the Parks and Horticulture Authority (PHA) to the LDA for the purpose of constructing the plaza was illegal and in violation of the fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution.
The petitioners said the shops in the plaza were affecting their businesses. They asked the court to declare that the open space was still owned by the PHA and that all subsequent transactions or transfers of it were without legal jurisdiction. They also challenged the installation of small poles, chains and plants on the road.
Siddique cited LHC judgment PLD 2004 in which the establishment of a food street on public streets of The Mall was declared illegal. He said the court had also declared that every member of the public has a right to travel in public streets. The public has rights over the width and length of the street and each inch of the same and the residents of nearby properties have a right to access such streets.
He said nobody had the authority and jurisdiction to curtail this right even by an inch. He asked the court to let traders, customers and the public at large use the streets on which stores H Karim Bukhsh and Al Fatah are located.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 10th, 2011.
Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
For more information, please see our Comments FAQ