IHC orders government to seal Navy Sailing Club
The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday ordered the officials concerned to seal the Navy Sailing Club in the federal capital and present the issue before the federal cabinet, as Chief Justice Athar Minallah said “no one, including this court, is above the law”.
According to 24NewsHD TV channel, the court ordered the cabinet division secretary to seal the premises by next hearing or appear in person in a personal capacity in case of not doing so.
Hearing a case pertaining to illegal constructions around the Rawal Lake, the IHC sought affidavits from the CDA (Capital Development Authority) chairman and its board members.
A CDA Board member told the court that the civic agency had submitted a report and that the Prime Minister of Pakistan allowed the constructions around the Rawal Lake.
But this response angered Chief Justice Minallah who said, “Reply to what I am asking you,” and added, “Where is the allotment letter?”
However, the CDA Board member said there was no allotment letter, to which the chief justice asked him about the action taken.
At this point, he was further infuriated as the CDA Board member said they had issued notices. “Go and raze the illegal building,” remarked the chief justice.
He also noted the double standards, observing how the CDA treats the poor. “Tell me whether the Navy Sailing Club is legal or illegal,” he questioned.
As the CDA member responded that he wasn’t a legal expert, Chief Justice Minallah asked him whether he was representing the civic agency.
However, the CDA member gave another half-baked answer: “The building is unapproved.”
“What is this unapproved? It means it’s illegal,” remarked the chief justice and issued the orders to the cabinet division secretary about sealing the building. “The CDA member is hesitating in telling that the commercial building is of Pakistan Navy and is illegal.”
When the Pakistan Navy representative requested the court to give some time for submitting a reply, the chief justice refused, saying, “No one is above the law in this court.” Under which law and authority the Navy had launched commercial projects, he added.
The chief justice also rejected the request made by the additional attorney general to assist the court on the issue and adjourned the hearing for a week.