SC issues contempt notice to IHC registrar

Published April 14, 2021
The CJP remarked that IHC registrar Sajid Baloch did not take the direction of demolishing the illegal structures of the courts seriously and left this matter to the junior officers. — Photo courtesy SC website/File
The CJP remarked that IHC registrar Sajid Baloch did not take the direction of demolishing the illegal structures of the courts seriously and left this matter to the junior officers. — Photo courtesy SC website/File

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Tuesday issued contempt of court notice to the registrar of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) over his ‘casual’ attitude to comply with the direction of removing the structures of the courts illegally built on a private land in F-8 Markaz.

The contempt of court issued by SC two member bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Gulzar Ahmed while hearing the petition of Islamabad High Court Bar Association (IHCBA) President Zahid Mehmood Raja, seeking review of the apex court’s direction to the Capital Development Authority (CDA) for removal of illegal chambers from the Football Ground of Sector F-8.

The CJP remarked that IHC registrar Sajid Baloch did not take the direction of demolishing the illegal structures of the courts seriously and left this matter to the junior officers.

Justice Gulzar further remarked that the IHC registrar had failed to timely implement the apex court’s direction and his conduct tantamount to committing contempt of court.

The apex court sought reply from the registrar in seven days.

The registrar last week submitted the compliance report before the Supreme Court.

He accused the CDA of misleading the Supreme Court about the illegal construction of courts on the premises for the sessions courts of Islamabad. IHC registrar said “action was taken immediately after receiving the order” [of the SC].

It said that besides football ground, encroachments and illegal construction were made on green areas, roads, streets, public car parking areas and commercial plots in the F-8 Markaz adding that all such illegal constructions and encroachments had been declared by the local administration as a security threat, particularly after the grave terrorist attack of March 3, 2014.

The registrar further said that illegal construction and encroachment were facilitated by the civil courts through their injunctive orders, which were subsequently withdrawn by the IHC.

He went on to state that soon after the apex court’s direction received, the registrar directed sessions courts judge and the CDA to identify the courts constructed illegally on green belts and private land and remove it accordingly.

Meanwhile, IHCBA President Zahid Mehmood Raja called on Federal Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar and apprised him about the demolition of chambers of lawyers from the Football Ground.

A statement issued by the IHCBA’s president said that Asad Umar had been told that the chambers of lawyers had been razed without giving them notice in advance.

It said that the minister assured him of raising this issue in the Parliament.

Published in Dawn, April 14th, 2021

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