The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Monday halted demolition of the walls of Governor House Punjab, Express News reported.
Justice Mamoonur Rashid presided the hearing on Khawaja Mohsin Abbas’ petition. The petition had made the Punjab government, chief secretary, CDA, mayor Lahore and various officials respondents in the case.
The petitioner’s lawyer stated that the building is an antique building and is a cultural heritage, “This act will be a waste of public money, the counsel maintained.
According to the Supreme Court directives, such moves should first be highlighted through an advertisement in newspapers, hence cabinet approval will not be obtained as well. “Demolishing the walls is a violation of SC and Antiquity act.”
The high court, in compliance with the petition, banned the move to demolish the governor house walls and has stayed the order till a verdict is reached.
The petition submitted to the high court stated that it was illegal to demolish the wall of the governor house, adding that it violates the Antiquities Act of 1975.
The petition prayed upon the court to halt the demolition.
Prime Minister Imran Khan had earlier ordered to demolish the walls of the premises while chairing a session of the Punjab cabinet.
On Sunday, a day after Prime Minister Imran Khan’s order, the Punjab government, in a hasty move, started demolishing the boundary wall of Punjab Governor House.
The act is in violation of various sections of the Punjab Special Premises (Preservation), Ordinance, 1985 and the Antiquities Act, 1975.
A senior official of the Directorate General of Archaeology Punjab (DGAP) told The Express Tribune that the directorate had yet to decide the fate of the Punjab Governor’s House since the building was protected under the Punjab Special Premises (Preservation) Ordinance, 1985 and the Antiquities Act, 1975.
The provincial government had called a meeting on Monday to deliberate on the prime minister’s instructions about the removal of the boundary wall of the Punjab Governor’s House, he disclosed.
Responding to a question, he said that since it was a protected heritage building the directorate had to decide whether its boundary wall was also protected under the law or not. He added that in different regimes this boundary wall had been changing like for some period there was an iron grill and later this concrete boundary wall was erected.
An official of the Punjab Governor’s House underscored that the entire building was protected under the Punjab Special Premises (Preservation) Ordinance, 1985, the Antiquities Act, 1975 and other international conventions.