IHC direct authorities to seal Pakistan Navy Sailing Club

The court found a number of violations in the construction of the club

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) ordered the authorities to seal the Navy Sailing Club on the Rawal Lake after officials from Pakistan Navy and Capital Development Authority (CDA) were unable to convince the court about reasons for the lucrative constructions on the bank of the water reservoir.

The court deemed the construction as illegal and asked the government to remedy the situation. IHC ordered the cabinet division secretary to present the matter in the next federal cabinet meeting for consideration.

“Prima facie, the occupation of the land and construction of building thereon are illegal and in violation of the enforced laws. It is, therefore, ordered that till the next date fixed the federal government, through the secretary cabinet, and the chairman, Capital Development Authority, shall seal the premises,” the court ordered.

Dr. Shahid Mehmood, CDA member (planning) was quizzed by the court over the matter. He hesitantly accepted that Pakistan Navy did not take the necessary approvals from CDA required by the law. The land was also not allotted to the Navy and mandatory compliance for construction under the Environmental Protection Act, 1997 were not followed.

The court admonished CDA for failing in its basic duties and noticed that while the authorities is swift in its actions against the common citizens, it fails to fulfil its obligations when privileged and influential parties are involved in a violation.    

“The Capital Development Authority appears to have failed in its statutory duty or it is complacent. It is noted that no one can be allowed to break the law. No one is above the law and every citizen has to be treated equally. It has been consistently observed that it has become a norm for the Capital Development Authority and other agencies to promptly take action against those who are common citizens and who do not have the means to influence, while the privileged and elites are being treated differently,” the court noted.

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