Court orders to seal Monal Restaurant, orders to take control of encroachments in Margalla Hills

Court has ordered to seal Monal Restaurant immediately

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Tuesday ordered the ICT authorities to seal the city’s hilltop Monal Restaurant with immediate effect and to take over Pakistan Navy’s Margalla Greens Golf Club, built on encroached land. The court also declared illegal the claim of 8,000 acres of Margalla Hills National Park by the military.

IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah issued the order to seal Monal Restaurant to Islamabad Capital Territory Chief Commissioner Amer Ali Ahmed, maintaining that the court will protect the wider public interest. He was hearing a case related to encroachments in the Margalla Hills National Park.

“No one can even cut the grass on the land, this land belongs to the state,” Justice Minallah said. “Seal Monal if its lease has ended,” he added, following which CDA officials went to the restaurant and sealed it.

Court asks Navy to hand over Golf Course to CDA

The court asked the defense secretary to make sure that the Margalla Greens Golf Club of is handed over to the CDA. “The defense secretary should inquire about the encroachments of the navy golf course [and] take action against those responsible,” he said.

The hearing was attended by the chairman of the Capital Development Authority (CDA), additional attorney general (AAG), and the secretaries for the ministries of defense and interior.

The chief justice condemned the navy’s move to build a golf course on encroached land, saying it was not “a good thing”.

“Every citizen respects the armed forces. If they do this (encroaching on state property) then it will not send a good message,” Justice Minallah remarked.

The IHC directed the defense secretary to make sure that court orders are implemented properly and ensure there was no illegal construction by the armed forces’ three wings.

“The defense secretary and chief commissioner should ensure that no complaints come to the court now,” Justice Minallah said.

Previously, the IHC had blamed many authorities for being unworried about the annihilation of Margalla Hills National Park and the wildlife sanctuary. The court had also ordered a survey to be carried out on the damage and a report to be submitted.

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