Supreme Court orders de-sealing of Monal restaurant

The Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered to de-seal the Monal restaurant located in the Margalla Hills, while suspending the order of sealing the famous eatery previously given by Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Jan. 11.

“The unsigned order of the IHC will remain suspended,” ordered a three-member bench of Supreme Court, headed by Justice Ijaz-ul-Ahsan.

At the hearing today, Justice Ahsan inquired whether the IHC had issued a signed order to seal the restaurant. In response to which Makhdom Ali Khan, the legal representative of Monal restaurant, stated that a certified copy of the IHC’s brief order was available with him.

The top court further argued how the restaurant could be sealed before issuance of the written orders from the court.

“The Islamabad Wild Life Management Board (IWMB), which sealed the restaurant, was not even a party to the case,” Justice Ahsan pointed out.

“Principally there is no order of the IHC available for sealing the restaurant, while verbal orders have no legal or constitutional standing,” another member on the bench, Justice Mazahir Naqvi, said.

Other Restaurants issued with the sealing notice:

Justice Ahsan stressed the fact that few other restaurants had been issued with the sealing notice however this was not the case with Monal Restaurant.

He eventually asked the IWMB lawyer about the number of restaurants sealed by his board, answering to which the lawyer said, “Gloria Jeans Cafe and La Montana have been issued notices so far”.

As the hearing further proceeded towards the conclusion, the court issued directions to the authorities to de-seal the restaurant.

The previous IHC Order:

Earlier, on January 11th, the IHC had ordered the ICT authorities to seal Monal Restaurant and take control of the Margalla Greens Golf Club built on encroached land. The court had also declared the military’s claim to 8,000 acres of Margalla Hills National Park illegal.

The Monal Group of Companies had subsequently challenged the IHC verdict in the top court, urging it to revoke the high court orders.

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