Ruling aside its single bench’s order, a division bench of Islamabad High Court on Monday suspended the Capital Development Authority’s (CDA) notification to remove encroachments and security barriers from in front of a five-star hotel.
The bench, comprising Justice Riaz Ahmed Khan and Justice Azim Khan Afridi, passed the orders while hearing an intra-court appeal (ICA) filed by the Marriott Hotel.
Earlier on July 19, Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui of the IHC had dismissed Marriott’s petition against CDA’s notification.
The court had observed that the barriers were causing inconvenience to people and all security arrangements could be taken inside the hotel’s premises. It had also directed the hotel administration to vacate the land encroached by Marriott for a parking lot within seven days.
The administration, however, challenged the verdict through an ICA, arguing that the hotel had been targeted in three deadly attacks so far including a terrorist attack in 2008 that killed 31 people and injured 55 others.
The hotel’s counsel, Advocate Naeem Bukhari, informed the court that the security measures had been approved by the former senate standing committee on interior chairman, inspector general of police and confirmed by CDA.
Bukhari also pointed out that the hotel has been paying the CDA for the parking facility. He maintained that the CDA had invited bids for the space which had been won by the Marriott.
Following the counsel’s argument, the court suspended the notification till the next hearing.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 7th, 2012.