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ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Monday barred the CDA from taking action against unauthorised marquees till the federal ombudsman holds an inquiry about all marriage halls as well as the civic agency’s regulations and submit a report in a week.

The apex court, which has been hearing a case related to the unauthorised marquees and marriage halls, also ordered the CDA to de-seal two marquees in H-13 which the civic agency had sealed recently.

On Monday, the court censured the CDA officials for not satisfying the court regarding zoning regulations in Zone III and directed them to come up with the master plan of the capital, particularly of Zone III, at 6pm.

After holding several meetings, the city managers have prepared a report for the court.

CDA officials Dawn spoke to said Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar during a chamber hearing directed the civic agency not to take any further action against the unauthorised marquees and de-seal the two marquees.

During the chamber hearing, the chief justice also directed Federal Ombudsman Tahir Shahbaz, who also served as the CDA chairman, to hold an inquiry about the unauthorised marquees and the CDA regulations and submit a report within a week.

In the light of the inquiry report, the apex court will continue further hearing.

Acting CDA Chairman Dr Fahad Aziz and Member Planning Asad Mehboob Kayani and other officials appeared before the court. Owners of several marquees were also present.

Director Building Control Faisal Naeem told Dawn that till the next orders of the court his directorate cannot take action against any unauthorised marquee.

“The Supreme Court has tasked the federal ombudsman to hold an inquiry for a clearer picture of the issue,” he said.

When contacted, the member planning also confirmed to Dawn that the court had ordered the de-sealing of the two marquees.

There are 67 illegal marquees and wedding halls operating in various parts of the capital. Recently, the CDA formulated new rules and regulations to deal with these facilities.

The civic agency had declared the two marquees in H-13 and nine others in residential sector of G-13 as completely unauthorised, adding these could not be regulated.

The city managers had said a marquee operating in Banigala in Zone III cannot be regulated too. The owners of these marquees pleaded before the court that the CDA action was discriminatory.

The owners of over 50 other marquees and wedding halls have been given a chance by the CDA to apply for regulating their businesses.

Published in Dawn, April 17th, 2018