Supreme Court disposes of Punjab govt’s Ravi Road project appeals
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The Supreme Court on Wednesday disposed of the Punjab government appeals challenging the Lahore High Court erstwhile interim order directing the provincial govt to stop work on the Ravi Urban Development Authority (RUDA) project, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.
The apex court said that since the LHC gave its final decision in the RUDA case yesterday, if the Punjab government wished it could challenge the decision in the Supreme Court while declaring that the interim order had now become part of the final decision and all appeals filed by the Punjab government against the order had become ineffective.
The RUDA lawyer requested the court to grant them two weeks’ time so that the provincial government could deliberate on the LHC decision.
Justice Ijazul Ahsan remarked since the verdict was made, there was no use to linger the appeals. If the government wants to raise some legal points, it could do so in its challenge, the judge added.
The Punjab government had challenged the LHC interim order to stop work on the RUDA project in the Supreme Court.
A two-judge bench of the Supreme Court headed by Justice Ijazul Ahsan heard the case.
The Lahore High Courton Tuesday declared the RUDA project null and void. Pronouncing the decision, Justice Shahid Karim also ordered the RUDA to repay the loan to the Punjab government it had borrowed from it.
The LHC noted that the agricultural land could only be acquired by following the relevant law. “However, in this case, the law dating back to 1894 was violated. Furthermore, the master plan of the RUDA was prepared without consulting the local government. “Therefore, not only the ordinance is illegal but also the notification for acquirement issued under section 4,” said the court.
On November 6, 2021, the LHC had stopped the RUDA from acquiring more land for its flagship project till further orders as farmers had challenged the 127-year-old Land Act of 1894.
Reporter Imanat Gishkori