The Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD) — and not the Supreme Court of Pakistan — had decided to regularise the illegal constructions in Bani Gala area to facilitate "not only Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan but one million residents" of the area.
This information was shared by the CADD State Minister Tariq Fazal Chaudhry before the apex court on Sunday.
The minister, on Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar's direction, repeated his statement in court, following which the top judge said: "Imran Khan is not our ladla (blue-eyed boy). The statements issued in this regard are incorrect. Let's call [Minister of State for Information] Marriyum Aurangzeb and show her the CADD minister's statement."
Following last year's Panamagate verdict — in which PML-N leader Nawaz Sharif was disqualified as the prime minister — the party leadership, including Nawaz himself and his daughter Maryam, stepped up its criticism of the judiciary and often dubbed Imran Khan as the "ladla — the favourite, the blue-eyed boy, of the kingmakers".
Justice Nisar, heading a three-member bench, was hearing a suo motu case based on a letter by Imran Khan. The PTI chief had invited the court’s attention towards the large scale encroachment on the botanical garden, uncheck and unplanned construction in Bani Gala, massive denuding due to large scale tree felling and pollution of the Rawal Lake due to sewage.
"The government is supposed to take action on such matters [Bani Gala constructions]. What can we do when the government does not take action?" the chief justice asked.
Earlier during the hearing, the chief justice had asked the minister why he was giving the impression that the court had provided a concession to Imran Khan. He told the minister to explain the issue or the court would have to take action against him.
"Why was Marriyum Aurangzeb issuing statements about the court providing concession to Imran Khan? Why do you want to defame the courts?" he asked.
At one point, the minister said that Imran Khan had submitted forged documents to the court. "What action did you take if the documents submitted were found to be fake?" the top judge asked the minister. To this, the state minister responded that the division did not take any action because the matter was sub judice.
"The court had not refrained you from taking action. You are free to proceed with legal action if you intend to do so," the chief justice said.
The summary to regularise the illegal constructions at Bani Gala have been sent to the federal cabinet, the minister said.
The chief justice ordered to refer the issue of constructions around Korang Nullah to the federal ombudsman. He asked all affectees to submit their applications before the ombudsman within two days.
The hearing of the case was adjourned for two weeks.