Chief Justice (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar on Thursday gave the Lahore Development Authority (LDA) a 10-day deadline to restore a public park near the residence of former finance minister Ishaq Dar which was altered to build a road leading to his house.
A three-member Supreme Court (SC) bench, headed by the chief justice, was hearing a suo motu case regarding the alteration of the park in order to build a road ─ on Dar's request ─ leading to his house. The LDA had taken over 1 kanal and 6 marlas of the park to build the road.
"On whose behest did you ruin the park to build a road?" Justice Nisar asked the LDA director general (DG), who told the court that he had received a verbal request from the former minister.
The CJP lashed out at the DG for "becoming a slave of the ministers" and told him that he had committed an offence and could be prosecuted by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) under Section 9 of the body's ordinance, which concerns Corruption and Corrupt Policies.
The DG LDA offered an unconditional apology ─ which was dismissed by Justice Nisar ─ and requested the court not to forward the case to NAB.
Justice Umar Ata Bandial said that if the bench did not send the case to NAB, it would "set a bad example". However, he told the DG to restore the park first and let the court consider the matter.
The court issued notices to Dar and the LDA, and also ordered authorities to publish an advertisement in Dawn to summon Dar, who is already facing ex-parte trial proceedings in a corruption reference related to owning assets beyond his known sources of income, and has been declared an absconder by an accountability court.