LAHORE: A Lahore High Court division bench on Tuesday suspended the operations of a decision by a single bench that restrained the Lahore Development Authority (LDA) from levying and recovering land conversion fee.

The bench headed by Justice Shahid Waheed passed the order on an intra court appeal (ICA) by the LDA after its legal adviser Amir Saeed Rawn undertook that no measures would be taken for the recovery of the commercialisation fee till the final decision in the appeal.

The bench would resume further hearing in the case on Nov 8.

The single bench had given the impugned verdict against the LDA allowing over 70 petitions filed by the owners or tenants of the properties who had been asked to pay conversion fee under 2014 rules for carrying out commercial activity at their properties.

The impugned verdict declared that the LDA could not levy or recover conversion fee from roads or segments of roads declared commercial as per List A or otherwise converted for commercial use.

The petitioners had argued that they had been doing commercial business at their properties for a long time and paying commercialisation fee having all requisite permissions in place.

Therefore, there was no legal justification for charging a one-time conversion fee under the LDA Act and the 2014 rules for the purposes of carrying out commercial activity on their own properties.

IGP TRANSFER: Lahore High Court Chief Justice Muhammad Ameer Bhatti on Tuesday disposed of a petition against the premature transfer of former inspector general of police Shoaib Dastagir for being infructuous.

The chief justice observed that the petition stood infractuous since a new IGP had been appointed in the province.

Advocate Nauman Amanat had filed the petition.

However, the chief justice kept a similar petition of PML-N MPA Malik Muhammad Ahmad Khan pending as his counsel argued that the petition was not person specific but against the non-enforcement of the Police Order 2002.

The counsel said frequent arbitrary and premature transfers of senior police officials in Punjab had become a norm as several IGPs and CCPOs had been appointed by the government in the last two years.

He said the premature transfers were in violation of the Police Order, 2002 and the Punjab government rules of business 2011, which secured the tenure for the IGP and other police officers. He said judgments of the Supreme Court restrained the governments from arbitrary transfer and removal of civil servants.

Published in Dawn, September 22nd, 2021

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