The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Monday barred the Punjab government and the Lahore Ring Road Authority from demolishing buildings in Bahria Town Lahore that fall in the path of the Ring Road's Southern Loop-III project.
An LHC bench comprising Justice Shahid Karim and Justice Sajid Mahmood Sethi passed the orders while hearing an Intra-Court Appeal (ICA) from Bahria Town challenging the acquisition of its land for the project.
During the hearing, the petitioner's counsel, Muhammad Azhar Siddiq, recalled that the government had issued a notification under Section 17(4) of the Land Acquisition Act about acquiring land for the Lahore Ring Road Southern Loop in 2008, and a survey was ordered in this regard. However, he added, the government did not take any action for seven years and then acquired land on an emergency basis under Section 15(4) of the Act in 2015.
Siddiq said that the decision deprived owners from filing objections and was a violation of Article 10(A) of the Constitution.
He insisted that the project would affect developed and under-construction areas in Bahria Town and would also cause financial loss to the residents. He also pointed out that alternative land was available for the project.
Pleading with the court to set aside the notification of land acquisition on emergency basis, he also requested the court to restrain the respondents from demolishing those buildings in Bahria Town which fall in the project area.
The bench was further requested to set aside an earlier LHC order which had dismissed a petition filed against the acquisition of Bahria Town's land for the project.
The bench, after recording initial arguments, stopped the respondents from demolishing the buildings and sought a reply on July 24.