LAHORE: A provincial government committee on Wednesday approved a Lahore Development Authority plan to request the Supreme Court of Pakistan to set aside a Lahore High Court full bench order regarding a signal-free traffic corridor in the city, The Express Tribune has learnt.
Provincial Assembly Member Rana Sanaullah, who is chairing the committee, said that the committee had decided that the LDA should file an appeal before the SC after a thorough examination of the detailed LHC judgment. He said services of Advocates Makhdoom Ali Khan and Khawaja Haris Ahmed would be hired for the purpose.
In a short order issued on April 17, the LHC had stopped the LDA from proceeding with the construction of the corridor between Qurtaba Chowk on Jail Road and Liberty Roundabout on Gulberg’s Main Boulevard. The bench had observed that the LDA should look after its ongoing projects but not start any new project in the absence of an elected local government in the city. It had stated that the LDA was not authorised to start new development projects in the absence of an elected local government under Article 140-A of the Constitution as well as the the Punjab Local Government Act.
The bench had directed the LDA and the contractor to remove all machinery form the construction site.
The order was issued following the hearing of several petitions filed against the signal-free corridor project by the Lahore Bachao Tehreek members including Imrana Tiwana, IA Rehman, Ayaz Amir, Faryal Ali Gohar, Fahad Malik.
The LDA was represented by Advocate General Naveed Rasool Mirza, Advocates Khwaja Haris Ahmed, Mustafa Ramday, Waqar A Sheikh, Salman Mansoor and Jahanzeb Inam. Advocate Waqas Ahmad Mir, Professor Osama Siddique and Dr Ali Cheema assisted the bench as amicus curiae (friends of court).
Besides Sanaullah, the government committee included secretaries for the Law, Local Government and Community Development and Environment Protection Departments and the LDA director general.
At an earlier meeting, the committee had rejected a suggestion that federal and provincial governments should be asked to amend the laws cited by the full bench in its April 17 short order. These are Article 140-A of the Constitution, the Punjab Local Government Act of 2013 and the Environment Protection Act of 1997.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 30th, 2015.
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