LHC declares pleas against riverfront project maintainable

Published November 4, 2021
A file photo of the Lahore High Court. — AFP/File
A file photo of the Lahore High Court. — AFP/File

LAHORE: Justice Shahid Karim of the Lahore High Court has dismissed the objection of the Punjab government and declared the petitions against the Ravi Riverfront Urban Development Project (RRUDP) maintainable.

The other day, the judge had reserved his verdict on the point of maintainability as the government’s lawyer argued that the petitions and stay orders previously issued became infructuous after the promulgation of the Ravi Urban Authority (Amendment) Ordinance 2021.

A written order of the court declaring the petitions maintainable is yet to be released.

Advocate General of Punjab (AGP) Ahmad Awais had argued that since the amended ordinance had been issued to cover legal infirmities, the stay orders granted by the court stood vacated and petitions were infructuous. He also argued that the courts could not interfere in the policy matters.

In this case, the judge had stayed the process of land acquisition for the project for not meeting the legal requirements and environmental laws.

The petitions against the project were filed by advocates Sheraz Zaka, Ahmad Rafay Alam and others on behalf of the farmers. The petitioners challenged the mode and manner of the land acquisition proceedings undertaken by the Ruda for the project.

They also questioned the legality of forceful acquisitions of land for commercial purposes under the Land Acquisition Act, 1894. Some of the petitioners questioned the legality of the Environment Impact Assessment of the project prepared by a non-registered consultant.

UET case hearing

Meanwhile, in a separate case, the LHC on Wednesday restrained the University of Engineering and Technology (UET) from evicting its Assistant Professor Dr Tanvir Qasim from his official residence.

Qasim approached the court against a decision of the UET management to cancel his house allotment in the university colony.

Justice Abid Aziz Sheikh stayed the eviction and referred the matter to the UET house allotment committee for decision in accordance within a month.

Published in Dawn, November 4th, 2021

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