CDA stopped from demolishing wedding halls

Published: April 18, 2019
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Court seeks response from civic agency within two weeks. PHOTO: EXPRESS/FILE

Court seeks response from civic agency within two weeks. PHOTO: EXPRESS/FILE

ISLAMABAD: The high court on Wednesday stopped the apex civic agency in the federal capital from demolishing wedding halls in the city.

This was directed by a single member bench of the Islamabad High Court (IHC), comprising Justice Amir Farooq, as he heard an application filed by wedding hall owners against the Capital Development Authority (CDA).

In their application, the hall owners told the court that they were ready to regularise their wedding halls. However, they argued that the heavy registration fees set for this purpose by the CDA were unjustified.

They further argued that the CDA did not have any authority to charge this fee from the wedding halls which had been constructed in the rural areas of the city.

The court was further told that the CDA had issued notices to wedding halls and marquees on April 10 stating that their establishments will be demolished. The hall owners claimed that when they tried to contact the authority on having their properties regularised, they did not get a response from the CDA.

The court noted that they had issued a stay order in a case of a similar nature just last week. Justice Farooq, though, issued the stay order sought and adjourned the case until May 21.

The court, though, sought an explanation from CDA within two weeks and directed to merge all such cases.

Double murder suspect arrested

A man suspected of murdering two people was arrested from the courtroom after his sentence was overturned.

Akhtar Saleem and Fazl-e-Rabbi had been sentenced to serve life in prison by a trial court. However, a high court had overturned that decision.

While hearing the appeal against the high court’s verdict, a single-member bench of the Supreme Court (SC) comprising Chief Justice of Pakistan Asif Saeed Khosa, heard arguments from both sides.

During Wednesday’s proceeding, the court observed that the suspect had married the sister of Muhammad Asif and Ghulam Mustafa. However, the suspect’s wife chose to live at her parents’ home because of some family disputes. The suspect’s counsel pleaded the court to adjourn the case to allow time to better prepare for the case, at this, Chief Justice Khosa remarked that the court had already sent them a notice two months ago.

“Today’s work would be done today,” the CJP maintained. After hearing arguments from both sides, the SC restored the trial court’s decision after which the convict was arrested from the courtroom. The court also acquitted the convict’s father.

Three cases decided

Additional District and Sessions Judge at the Rawalpindi model court Raja Shaheed Zamir issued the verdict in two drug smuggling and a murder case on Wednesday.

The suspect in the infamous rickshaw driver case of 2013 in Pirwadhai was sentenced to a jail term with a fine of Rs2.5 million. Two other suspects in the case, Israr and Attaur Rehman, were acquitted after the court gave them the benefit of doubt. Similarly, brothers Naeem and Tariq were sentenced to four years in prison along with a fine of Rs20,000 each after it was proved that they were involved in smuggling drugs. 

Published in The Express Tribune, April 18th, 2019.

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