Judiciary to decide fate of jail in Islamabad

Published September 23, 2020
The government passed the buck to the judiciary to decide the fate of the under-construction prison in the federal capital. — AFP/File
The government passed the buck to the judiciary to decide the fate of the under-construction prison in the federal capital. — AFP/File

ISLAMABAD: The government on Tuesday passed the buck to the judiciary to decide the fate of the under-construction prison in the federal capital.

The decision was taken at the federal cabinet meeting presided over by Prime Minister Imran Khan.

A member of the cabinet, who did not want to be named, told Dawn that though the cabinet in its last meeting had decided to raze the under-construction building, it received a message from a judges’ committee that the judiciary wanted a prison in Islamabad.

He said it was decided in the meeting that the government, which claimed itself as environmental friendly, could not allow construction of the jail in a green area. Therefore, the matter was referred to the judges’ committee to decide.

“During the meeting, the cabinet was informed about the direction of the Supreme Court but the meeting was of the view that the cabinet’s view on construction in green areas was clear,” an official press release said.

The meeting decided to present all facts regarding construction of the jail before the apex court.

Interestingly, the cabinet at its meeting last week had decided to demolish the jail on which Rs1.5 billion have already been spent.

“The cabinet has decided not to regularise illegal construction of a prison on a green area in H-16 as Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government’s philosophy is to preserve the green areas,” Information Minister Shibli Faraz had said last week.

The jail structure will be demolished and the prison will be constructed at an alternative place in the federal capital, the minister had said.

He had also said the government will conduct an inquiry against the responsible officers who allowed the construction of the prison in the green area.

Published in Dawn, September 23rd, 2020

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