CJ displeased with navy for not submitting reply in sailing club case

Updated 31 Jul 2020

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IHC had ordered sealing of the club earlier after CDA, naval official couldn't offer a plausible explanation for construction of the  Navy sailing club near Rawal Lake. — Facebook/File
IHC had ordered sealing of the club earlier after CDA, naval official couldn't offer a plausible explanation for construction of the Navy sailing club near Rawal Lake. — Facebook/File

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday expressed displeasure over non-submission of reply by naval authorities related to the construction of the navy sailing club near Rawal Lake.

Chief Justice Athar Minallah last week ordered sealing of the club as the Capital Development Authority (CDA) and a naval official could not explain any plausible justification for the construction of the structure on the bank of the water reservoir.

When the court resumed hearing of the case on Thursday, it noted that the naval authorities had not filed the reply.

Justice Minallah remarked that the armed forces were a well respected institution but it should be manifested through their deeds.

The court was told that the CDA had submitted a summary related to the club to the federal cabinet and the opinion of the attorney general had also been sought.

The chief justice remarked that had CDA ever sought opinion of the attorney general before removing small kiosks. He said the court never asked any institution for taking post facto approval of the construction whereas the matter was referred to the cabinet for taking an appropriate action.

The court sought a detailed reply from the naval chief regarding construction of the club, and adjourned the hearing to August 7.

Last week, the court had issued its order with an observation that “Prima facie the occupation of the land and construction of the building thereon are illegal and in violation of the enforced laws. It is, therefore, ordered that till the next date the federal government through the secretary cabinet and the CDA chairman shall seal the premises.”

The court directed the cabinet division secretary to place the matter before the cabinet at its next meeting for consideration because enforcement of laws had been confined to the common citizens.

Published in Dawn, July 31st, 2020