Pakistan Navy cannot directly file appeal, will need to engage defence secy: IHC

Navy had filed two intra-court appeals challenging orders to raze Navy Sailing Club, handover naval farms to CDA


Saqib Bashir January 13, 2022
Navy Sailing Club. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD:

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) directed the Pakistan Navy on Thursday to follow procedure before filing pleas challenging the high court's January 7 and 11 orders - to raze the Navy Sailing Club and directing the Capital Development Authority (CDA) to take possession of naval farms and golf course. 

The Pakistan Navy withdrew the two appeals following the IHC's directives, hours after it had filed them with the high court. The case was heard by Justice Amir Farooq and Justice Mian Gul Hassan Aurangzeb.

During the proceedings, the IHC questioned whether the branch of the armed forces could directly file an appeal without the secretary of defence.

The counsel for Pakistan Navy argued that a brief verdict was issued on January 11. The Pakistan Navy was not given any notice, nor was it a party to the case, the counsel said, adding that the PN was not heard. 

Read IHC summons CDA chief in sailing club case

To this, Justice Hassan remarked that the Pakistan Navy maybe an affected party but only the federation could file an appeal. The navy does not have a secretary defence of its own, Justice Farooq stated.

“Everyone undoudbtedly respects the armed forces, but they cannot file directly without the secretary of defence,” the court said, further asking whether the attorney general of Pakistan could file an appeal in his own capacity after leaving the office?

As the court raised technical questions, the Pakistan Navy withdrew both its petitions. They will now be filed once the corrections have been made.

Earlier, the IHC had ruled that the Pakistan Navy had no jurisdiction or authority to directly or indirectly engage in real estate venture and the building of its Sailing Club on the embankment of Rawal Lake.

The court also declared the PN Farms illegal and noted that the federal government would take action against a former naval chief for his involvement in the projects accordingly. The court had also declared the NOC issued for Pakistan Naval Farms illegal.

“The name of Pakistan Navy, nor of any State institution, can be used directly or indirectly for a real estate venture having no concern with the functions of such an institution or department,” read a 45-page judgment authored by IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah.

On January 11, the high court declared that the allotment of 8,068 acres of land to the Pakistan Army in the National Park area of Islamabad is against the law.

"The claim of Remount, Veterinary and Farms Directorate of Pakistan Army, regarding 8,068 acres of land in the notified National Park area is in violation of the Ordinance of 1979 read with the Ordinance of 1960 and the Master Plan,” an 11-page judgment authored by IHC CJ Athar Minallah said.

Read more Margalla Hills National Park: IHC halts construction of Defence Complex

The court also said that Pakistan Navy had encroached upon state land including the notified area of the National Park by unauthorised and illegally establishing a golf course outside the allocated Sector E-8.

"The construction on the encroached land and establishing a golf course was and continues to be illegal, without lawful authority and jurisdiction.

"The purported Navy Golf Course shall forthwith be sealed and its possession handed over to the Capital Development Authority and the Islamabad Wildlife Management Board.

"The construction on the encroached land of Navy Golf Course shall be demolished within four weeks from the date of the order unless it can be utilised for an environmentally friendly activity." It said that the CDA and Islamabad Wildlife Management Board will jointly restore the encroached land of Navy Golf Course as part of the National Park.

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