IHC summons defense secretary over encroachment on MHNP land

The Islamabad High Court on Tuesday summoned the Defense Secretary in connection with a case pertaining to illegal constructions on Margalla Hills National Park beyond the allotted area by the new General Headquarters.

IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah was hearing a case filed by a citizen against the illegal construction of a boundary wall in the national park in Margalla Hills.

 “The Secretary, Ministry of Defence has been directed to appear in person and explain under what law construction has been initiated and why the IHC judgment that barred the construction in the MHNP was violated by the branches of the armed forces i.e. Army, Air Force, and Navy,” the court order said.

The IHC also directed the defense secretary to inquire who had permitted the construction of the boundary wall and violated the laws enforced within the Federal Capital.

CDA’s lawyer Hafiz Arfat Ahmed Chaudhary appeared in the court with Irfan Aziz Khan, director general (environment), Faisal Naeem, director (building control), and Afnan Alam, director (land and rehabilitation), of the CDA.

The CDA officials told the IHC that no the officials had not obtained any permission or authorization from the Capital Development Authority for the construction of the boundary wall, adding that the authority was not sure if any construction has taken place beyond the area specified and allotted for the Defence Complex.

Responding to the court’s query, the CDA officials also confirmed that the authority has not yet approved any building plan for construction in the area specified for the Defence Complex.

The court also expressed displeasure with the Additional Attorney General maintaining that the law officer was supporting something that is against the law stressing that there was no rule of law in the Islamabad Capital Territory.

Expressing annoyance with the Capital Development Authority (CDA) for “selective enforcement of law”, the court directed chairman CDA and the interior secretary and the Defense Secretary to submit affidavits regarding the matter before January 11, 2022.

The CDA chairman and the interior secretary were also directed to appear in the court and satisfy on the matter.

Earlier, the Islamabad High Court had directed to immediately stop the construction of the boundary wall.

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