ISLAMABAD: The high court on Wednesday directed the civic agency to take legal action against those encroaching a football ground adjacent to the Sector F-8 Kutchery.
This was directed by a larger bench of the Islamabad High Court (IHC), headed by Chief Justice Athar Minallah and comprising Justice Amir Farooq, Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb. The court was hearing an application filed by Shehnaz Butt.
During Wednesday’s hearing, representatives of the District Bar Association and the Islamabad Bar Council did not appear before the court despite the fact that notices had been issued to them. However, Capital Development Authority (CDA) Member Planning Waqas Malik attended the hearing.
Justice Aurangzeb maintained that Butt’s application was of public interest and they would hear it on the basis of merit. On this occasion, Chief Justice Minallah asked Waqas Malik about the definition of encroachment and whether grabbing of public land comprised encroachment.
Illegal structures: Anti-encroachment drive starts in residential areas
He went on to warn lawyers of encroaching on this land in the future. CDA’s counsel told the court that car showroom owners have encroached on public land in Sector G-8 Markaz where they park their vehicles.
At this, CJ Minallah directed the authority to cancel the allotment of all such showroom owners who did not clear their encroachment.
Meanwhile, an anti-terrorism court (ATC) in Islamabad approved the bail of six of the 15 suspects who had been arrested for firing within the Sector F-8 Kutchery.
The counsel for the suspects told the court that the weapons recovered from his clients was licenced and had been kept for self-defence.
The court thus approved the bail of six suspects, who held a licence for the guns but set bail at Rs100,000 each.
The remaining nine suspects were remanded to Adyala Jail.
IHC on Wednesday reserved its verdict in the case against Muhammad Sikandar, who was responsible for the infamous ‘Islamabad Standoff’ of 2013. A two-member bench of the case, comprising CJ Minallah and Justice Aurangzeb, heard the case.
Sikandar’s counsel told the court that the suspect was suffering from a broken leg while he had also lost his eyesight.
He further argued that the suspect did not injure anyone during the hours' long standoff on one of the main thoroughfares of the federal capital but has been serving time behind bars for the past six years.
He added that Sikandar came to visit Islamabad with his children but ended up in jail.
Government’s counsel Owais Haider Malik argued that the suspect had a gun with him and his actions proved that they were pre-planned while media footage of the incident recorded the complete story.
Armed with two sub-machine guns and accompanied by his wife Kanwal and two children, Sikandar had driven into the middle of Jinnah Avenue in the capital, where he fired at the police and started a surreal standoff in 2013. He was arrested after a six-hour standoff after being tackled to the ground but not before being shot by security sharpshooters.
He was taken into custody and hospitalized at the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (Pims).
Published in The Express Tribune, March 14th, 2019.