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LHC seeks govt's reply over 'illegal' construction

06 December, 2013

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court on Thursday sought reply within two weeks on a petition against the Punjab government and others for making construction on Doongi ground against the court directions.

Justice Nasir Saeed Sheikh of the LHC ordered for fixing the hearing in the last week of November.

On Thursday, the petitioner's counsel pointed out that government was not submitting reply in the court despite many orders and was using delaying tactics and the construction was still going on. He requested to initiate contempt proceedings against Punjab chief minister, commissioner Lahore division, DCO Lahore, chairman LDA and other responsible officers for not obeying the court orders.

Faran Rafique Khan a resident of the Gulberg moved this constitutional petition. Petitioner counsel Muhammad Azhar Siddique said all the developmental and construction work was carried out without permission and approval and the codel formalities.

He said the LHC full bench on September 16, 2011 had declared the conversion of Doongi Ground into IMAX Theater and other allied facilities to be illegal. He submitted that the respondents' provincial government and its different departments had not complied with the directions as well as orders of full bench and in violation of the same they started construction on the ground.

He stated that a legal notice was also sent to respondents on October 4, 2012 for restraining them not to carry on the said construction work on the ground in disregard to the LHC judgment. He submitted that the respondent did pay heed neither to the judgment nor to the notice and then a contempt petition was moved which is pending before this court.

He submitted that during the matter being subjudice, the respondents had once again speeded up the construction of parking plaza at the site intentionally and in disregard to the contempt proceedings. He said the construction started by the respondents not only in violation of the judgment and pending proceedings of contempt but also without getting any permission, approval and even without any intimation to the residents of the area especially the petitioner.

He said that neither the petitioner was asked nor ever contacted before the commencement of the aforementioned illegal construction. He submitted that the respondents had also disregarded the importance of procuring any report or NOC from environmental department regarding construction of parking plaza in the basement of Doongi Ground.

He submitted that the judgment on June 20, 2011, was very clear in its terms whereby it stood proved that a park was converted for other extraneous purposes and as such the violation of Disposal of Land by Development Authorities Act, 1988 stands violated, hence the relevant authorities were under obligation to take action in this regard which had not been done so far.

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