IHC orders CDA to wrest control of Navy Golf Course, seal Monal

CJ Minallah declares military’s claim on 8,000 acres as illegal: Says armed forces not fully autonomous institutions, they must obey laws

By: News Desk
Published: 11:23 AM, 11 Jan, 2022
IHC orders CDA to wrest control of Navy Golf Course, seal Monal
Caption: File photo.
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After declaring the occupation of 8,000 acres of land by the Military Directorate Farms illegal, the Islamabad High Court has ordered the Capital Development Authority to take control of the Navy Gulf Course today, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.

Islamabad High Court Chief Justice Athar Minallah was hearing cases against encroachment on the Margalla National Park on Tuesday. 

The court ordered the defence secretary to complete an inquiry report dilating upon the encroachment by the Navy Golf Course, besides ordering him to take action against the responsible persons. 

“The lawlessness benefits the elite only. Rule of law also applies to all sectors of forces,” the judge remarked. 

During the hearing, Chief Justice Minallah wondered under which law the 8,000 acres of land was allotted to the Navy Golf Course while giving order that the land should be considered part of the Margalla National Park. 

The CJ asked who would do the demarcation of the Margalla National Park. The CDA chairman replied that the district collector with the help of Survey of Pakistan and Deputy Commissioner Office would do the park’s demarcation. 

The defence secretary apprised the court that from the rural areas side, constructions and encroachments were being made.

The CDA chairman informed the court that without any proper deliberation, alterations were being carried out in the master plan. 

“Every institute has indulged in illegal occupation somewhere,” the CDA chairman said adding that this point would be presented in the cabinet meeting today. 

Justice Minallah deplored that the authorities had ruined the National Park after regularizing it. “We are trying to save whatever ‘remaining’ park we have got. The court is protecting the National Park area for our posterity,” he observed. 

The defence secretary agreed that the park could be saved only after acting upon the laws. 

The IHC CJ told the secretary that the court found irregularity in this 1,400 square miles of land. He observed that three sectors of the armed forces were popped here. He remarked that the court could not allow anyone to make the armed forces controversial.

“Law is clear on who will manage the armed forces’ land and how,” the CJ said. He remarked that the armed institutions were not autonomous, they must obey the law. 

He said that the defence ministry control all armed forces and its secretary was present here in the court.

Pakistan Navy has built Golf Course after encroaching upon the park land which is not good as every citizen accords respect to the armed forces, Justice Minallah observed. 

He said that the National Park area was protected and no activity could be taken out on its turf. Even people could not be allowed to cut grass here, he added. 

The chief justice inquired of the additional attorney general what would happen to a piece of land which remained useless. The law officer replied that the executive was authorized to decide about it.  

The chief justice asked whether the Air Force had taken approval from the CDA for all of its constructions. He remarked that no property could be transferred to another institution.  

The judge further asked who was claiming to own 8,000 kanals of land of the Monal Hotel. Now this land is part of the National Park area, he remarked adding that the 8,000 kanals of land would be managed under the 1979 law. 

With this, Justice Minallah ordered the authorities to seal the Monal Hotel today after observing that the hotel was erected on the encroached land. 

The judge remarked that everyone should do his own accountability believing that the lot of the poor could not be ameliorated if there would be lawlessness in the country. 

Reporter Ehtesham Kiani