Court stops govt from agri land acquisition for Ravi project

Published February 27, 2021
The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Friday stayed acquisition of agricultural land for the Ravi Riverfront Urban Development Project and directed the registrar office to club all identical petitions and fix them before one bench. — AFP/File
The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Friday stayed acquisition of agricultural land for the Ravi Riverfront Urban Development Project and directed the registrar office to club all identical petitions and fix them before one bench. — AFP/File

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Friday stayed acquisition of agricultural land for the Ravi Riverfront Urban Development Project and directed the registrar office to club all identical petitions and fix them before one bench.

Representing a public-interest petition, Advocate Sheraz Zaka argued before the court that the acquisition laws had been blatantly violated by the government and the farmers were being deprived of their precious land.

The counsel said compulsory acquisition would deprive the farmers of their agricultural land and it could pose food security threats in the future. He pointed out that a vast chunk of agricultural land being converted for the benefit of property developers was against the Convention of Biological Diversity that the government of Pakistan had also ratified.

Justice Ali Baqar Najafi observed that a similar situation had also been witnessed across the border in India where farmers were protesting against the government for subjecting them to commercial interests.

The lawyer said the government had not issued any notification to disclose any public purpose of the riverfront project which it was supposed to do under Section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act 1890.

He pointed out that in all other interconnected petitions, the LHC had already stayed work on the project with a direction to the provincial government to appoint an international consultant to prepare the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the project.

Justice Naqvi restrained the government from the land acquisition till the next date of hearing on March 2 and directed the registrar office to club all the interconnected petitions so that it could be fixed before one bench.

The other day, Justice Shahid Karim had ordered the government to engage an international consultant for the EIA of the riverfront project. Previously, Justice Shams Mehmood Mirza had restrained the government from taking a final decision on the EIA being prepared by a local consultant.

Published in Dawn, February 27th, 2021

Opinion

Elite privileges
20 Apr 2021

Elite privileges

Elite bargains provide a powerful view of our political economy.
A conjurer of limitless hope
20 Apr 2021

A conjurer of limitless hope

Rehman Sahib came across as a battle-scarred soldier who was perpetually planning to regroup after a setback.
Cabinet lotto
Updated 20 Apr 2021

Cabinet lotto

To return to finance, the second change in the key ministry is interesting for how it differs from the first.
Election ex machina
Updated 19 Apr 2021

Election ex machina

Neither EVMs nor i-voting are new innovations, yet their use remains deeply controversial.

Editorial

Media blackout
Updated 20 Apr 2021

Media blackout

A free flow of information is the best way to counter rumour-mongering and fake news.
20 Apr 2021

Gas utilities’ reluctance

THE government has ‘ordered’ state-owned gas companies SSGC and SNGPL to remove impediments hampering the...
20 Apr 2021

Saudi-Iran talks

EVER since the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran, ties between Tehran and Riyadh have been increasingly strained,...
19 Apr 2021

Vaccine shortfall

THE hope that the slew of Covid-19 vaccinations approved for use since the end of last year would vanquish the ...
Another package
Updated 19 Apr 2021

Another package

Sindh has not seen much development worth the name during the PPP’s more than decade-long rule in the province.
19 Apr 2021

Cricket triumph

TEAM Pakistan have a number of reasons to rejoice after their 3-1 T20 series win over hosts South Africa on Friday....