Can public buildings be named after office holders, asks SC

Published: March 6, 2019
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Supreme Court of Pakistan. PHOTO: AFP

Supreme Court of Pakistan. PHOTO: AFP

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court has asked the top lawyers of the federation, all provinces and the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) to ascertain whether public buildings can be named after individuals who held public offices in Pakistan.

Hearing a case pertaining to the acquisition of land in Mardan occupied by a public college,  the court asked the attorney general and all advocates general to submit written responses to the query within six weeks.

“Since our decision in respect of the matter of naming the College may affect the naming of public buildings, public parks, public roads and other public places not only in the province of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa but also in other parts of Pakistan, notices be issued to the advocate generals of all the four provinces, the Islamabad Capital Territory and the Attorney General for Pakistan, all of whom are directed to file their respective written submissions within six weeks,” read the judgment authored by Justice Qazi Faez Isa.

During proceedings, the counsel for Fazl-e-Haq College Mardan informed the top court that the institute was originally known as Government Comprehensive High School Mardan and the land it was built in was occupied by the Government of the North West Frontier Province (NWFP) – K-P’s former name. In 1983, the institute was christened Public School Mardan and all lands, buildings, properties, assets and liabilities under the name Government Comprehensive High School Mardan were transferred to the former. The school was converted into a college in 1985 and renamed again, this time after then NWFP governor Gen (retd) Fazl-e-Haq.

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The court, in its order, asked whether an institute built on government land and constructed using public funds could be named after a living person and one who was holding public office in the country. The K-P advocate general sought time to formulate his views on the query.

Meanwhile, the court directed its office to fix the matter for consideration under the orders of the Chief Justice of Pakistan.

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