Alvi overrules federal ombudsman’s decision

President orders NHA to settle dues in 25-year-old land case

APP August 29, 2022
President of Pakistan Dr Arif Alvi. PHOTO: RADIO PAKISTAN/FILE


President Dr Arif Alvi, while overruling the Federal Ombudsman’s decision in a 25-year-old case, directed the National Highways Authority (NHA) to award compensation to the complainants.

The president made the decision in lieu of the land purchased by the NHA in accordance with the Compensation Award announced by the authority in 1997.

It has remained uncontested and unimplemented since then.

The NHA had acquired a land of 11 kanals and 10 marlas from three citizens for the construction of a road (N-5).

The authority had announced an award for eight shops in 1994.  This was accepted by the complainants. However, they protested the pending of the award for the remaining 35 shops.

Afterwards, the measurement of the remaining shops was carried out. The assessment was conducted by the NHA, and an award was announced on  December 17, 1997 but remained unimplemented.

Feeling aggrieved, the complainants approached the Federal Ombudsman in 2021 to seek compensation for the remaining shops. However, the ombudsman disposed of the matter without providing any relief to them.

The president reprimanded the NHA for causing unnecessary delay to implement the award announced 25 years ago, and directed it to pay the due amount to the complainants within 45 days of his order.

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The president pointed out that it was not a matter of measurement and assessment of land or any other nitty-gritty, but implementation and payment of the awarded compensation as per the orders of NHA in 1997.

He highlighted that this aspect was not factored in by the ombudsman while passing ots orders.

Alvi added that since the award of 1997 had not been challenged by either party, therefore, it had attained finality and the NHA was bound to pay the assessed amount as per law.

The Federal Ombudsman in its decision had declined to intervene and provide relief to the complainants.

It had ruled that the matter required a site visit; measurement of land and detailed examination of both documentary and oral evidence; and its assessment in the light of Qanoon-e-Shahadat Order for which the proper forum was a court of competent jurisdiction and not its office.

Subsequently, the complainants filed a representation with the president against the decision of the ombudsman. The president overruled the decision and ordered the NHA to compensate the complainants within 45 days.



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