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LAHORE: The Lahore High Court on Wednesday reserved judgment on a petition challenging construction of a multi-storey police investigation centre in residential area of Old Anarkali.

Lawyers representing the Punjab government and the petitioners concluded their arguments before Justice Sajid Mahmood Sethi reserved the verdict.

The government pleader failed to satisfy the court on query about construction of the building without obtaining permission and Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) report. He objected to the maintainability of the petition pleading that alternate remedy available in the law had not been agitated by the petitioners before approaching the court.

However, the petitioner’s counsel Taffazul Haider Rizvi argued that there were many judgments of the high court, especially on jurisdiction to hear environmental issue directly if fundamental rights of citizens were infringed.

Khurshid Alam and other residents of the area had filed the petition challenging the construction of an investigation complex, which they said was a sensitive installation and amounted to put the lives of the locals in danger.

They contended that in past terrorists had attacked buildings of law enforcement agencies resulting in loss of life and property of citizens.

They argued that the life of the area residents had already been made miserable because of extraordinary security measures taken for the nearby office of Inspector General of Police, adding that the construction of a multi-storey police complex at Rabbani Road (Old Anarkali) would obviously entail similar security arrangements and the residents life would become a living hell.

They asked the court to stop the authorities from construction of the complex, keeping in view that the area was purely residential having residences and schools.

Published in Dawn, December 7th, 2017