LDA city case: Either give plots or return money, SC tells govt

Published: December 30, 2018
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Supreme Court of Pakistan. PHOTO: AFP

Supreme Court of Pakistan. PHOTO: AFP

LAHORE: The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Saturday directed the Punjab Minister for Housing, chief secretary and the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to come up with a workable plan to compensate the affectees of the LDA City Housing Scheme.

A two-member bench headed by the CJP was hearing complaints of people who purchased files of the LDA City but never got plots or their money returned.

Justice Nisar remarked owners of Paragon City and other companies had become brokers in the whole episode and directed the LDA to cancel agreement if the companies failed to provide the required land within one year.

Justice Ijazul Ahsan, the other member on the bench, observed why the LDA couldn’t complete the project itself as it would restore confidence in public. However, the LDA’s legal advisor said the authority did not have funds to acquire the land on its own.

LDA Director General Amina Imran Khan said the companies acquired c-category land for the housing scheme. The chief justice asked her to get criminal cases lodged against the owners of the companies.

When asked, a NAB counsel told the court Nadeem Zia, head of Paragon City, escaped abroad and process had been initiated for his arrest. He said red warrants for the arrest of Zia would be issued within 15 days.

Justice Nisar directed the minister for housing, chief secretary, the NAB and other authorities to submit a compensation plan for the affectees within ten days and decide whether to give them plots or return their money.

Mayor’s petition

The top court has also taken suo moto notice on the application of Lahore Lord Mayor Colonel (retd) Mubashir Javed in which he complained the government is neither releasing funds nor giving powers to local government in Punjab.

After the court hearing, Javed told media Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar had summoned him in a case related to encroachments and illegal constructions.

The mayor told the court as per Local Government Act provision of basic civic services is the responsibility of the local governments, but in absence of powers 313 elected public representatives can’t perform their duties. He highlighted that the government had not issue a single penny to local government since past eight months.

Javed told the apex court that the Lahore Development Authority (LDA) had no right to issue directions for basic civic facilities and following the SCP verdict the role of the LDA and local government had been clarified but the authority was still exercising powers of the Metropolitan Corporation.

He prayed the court to look into the matter on which the CJP took suo motto notice of the complaint.

Kidney transplant hospital

Moreover, the Supreme Court Lahore registry has also summoned health minister and secretaries with plans on January 6 while hearing the suo motu case against non-availability of the liver and kidney transplant hospital

“It is unfortunate there was not a single hospital of liver and kidney transplant for children in Pakistan,” said the top judge.

Dr Jawwad of PKLI told court at present 28 children are under treatment for liver transplant but their treatment is impossible due to lack of trained surgeons.

The CJP further remarked it was a matter of shame for him the society could not do anything to save innocent children.  “If the health department has no plans, the court will summon the Punjab chief minister He is a very good, simple person who just needs guidance,” said the top judge.

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