Removing obstructions: No roadblocks outside building, IHC tells hotel

CDA had put the hotel on notice for blocking the road outside.

Obaid Abbasi July 19, 2012


A court on Wednesday dismissed a petition by a five-star hotel challenging a notice to remove encroachments and security barriers on the road in front of it.

Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) observed that the Marriott Hotel’s administration could not be allowed to block the road because it was inconveniencing the public.

Last month the same bench had directed CDA to remove all encroachments from the city in response to a public interest petition filed by a resident. Acting on the court’s directive, CDA had issued notices to various shopkeepers and the hotel administration of Marriott. CDA had asked Marriott Hotel to remove parking from outside the hotel within seven days.

The hotel’s executive director challenged the notice on the grounds that he was not party to the case. He maintained that due to security threats, speed barriers were erected outside the hotel for visitors’ security.

He informed the court that terrorists attacked the hotel killing 31 people and injuring 55 in 2008, because of which security measures were adopted. He claimed that the security measures were approved by the chairman standing committee on interior, inspector general of police Islamabad and confirmed by the CDA chairman in March 2011.

The petitioner’s counsel maintained that the CDA later had invited bids for the parking space and Marriott Hotel was the highest bidder. He requested the court to declare the notice null and void and allow the hotel to continue with the security arrangements to control the flow of traffic which were earlier approved by CDA.

ZTBL chief appointment

Meanwhile, the same bench directed the government to appoint the president of Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited (ZTBL) within one month. Earlier, the court had restrained ZTBL Acting President Roohi Khan from inducting new employees.

ZTBL senior vice president had filed a contempt petition stating that Khan had conducted interviews of employees despite the court’s restraining order. During the course of hearing the court observed that sufficient material is available against acting president and issued a notice to her, seeking a reply on July 26.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 19th, 2012.


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