ISLAMABAD: The chairman of the apex civic body in the federal capital came under fire in the top court on Tuesday as he was directed to personally visit Lake View Park to check on the state land leased and solve all issues within a month.
This was directed as a three-member bench of the Supreme Court, led by Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar, heard a case relating to state land leased in the capital.
During the hearing, Chief Justice Nisar directed the Capital Development Authority (CDA) Chairman Afzal Latif to visit the park and solve all lease issues, adding that after a month, he will visit the park himself and swing on the swings there.
“You cannot get a kiosk in the price at which the land was leased out in the park,” CJP Nisar remarked, as he slammed the civic body for treating state land as inherited estate.
Additional Attorney General shared details about the leaseholders, the leasing process and the flaws therein with the court.
The CJP remarked that the CDA had freely distributed land, adding that a judge should know about everything including how much a pushcart vendor makes.
Directing to fix all issues within a month, he directed CDA chairman Latif to personally visit the park and inspect everything.
During the hearing, when the CDA chairman brought up the anti-encroachment operation in the city, CJP Nisar reminded him that he was merely following orders of the top court in taking action against encroachment by farmhouses in Chak Shahzad because he was unable to that do the work on his own.
“The court facilitated you,” CJP Nisar said, directing him to continue with the anti-encroachment operation.
“Whichever building you have to raze, raze it, otherwise fine them,” CJP Nisar said.
The court directed the CDA present a progress report and adjourned the case for a month.
Capital limits report sought
In a separate case, the Surveyor General of Pakistan was directed to provide final reports relating to the boundaries of Islamabad and Rawalpindi to the top court within a week.
A three-bench of the SC, led by CJP Nisar, heard the case pertaining to chopping trees in the Margalla Hills.
During Tuesday’s hearing, the Rawalpindi Cantonment Board (RCB) chief executive officer (CEO) appeared before the court.
The CJP told him that on the orders of the top court, boundary demarcation activities are being conducted in the Margalla Hills and that the cantonment board had created obstacles in the execution of a judicial directive by removing demarcation pillars.
The RCB chief told the court their staff was not aware of the top court’s orders.
At this, CJP Nisar asked the RCB chief who had appointed him? The RCB chief responded that he had been appointed through the federal public service commission.
The CJP then asked if his superior should be summoned and stated that they will not tolerate interference in the work tasked to Survey of Pakistan since there were a number of places where there were territorial disputes between the federal and provincial governments.
The additional attorney general told the court that they were conducting the demarcation exercise per the 1963 map of the federal capital. He sought a week’s time to complete the task and submit a report to the court.
The court granted the request, directing the Survey of Pakistan to submit the final report of demarcating boundaries of the federal capital within a week’s time and adjourned hearings until then.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 24th, 2018.
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