Top court bans marriages, commercial events on CAA lands at airports

Maqbool Ahmed

26th Oct, 2021. 03:43 pm
SC Karachi registry

Top court bans marriages, commercial events on CAA lands at airports. Image: File

KARACHI: The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Tuesday restrained the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) from holding marriages or any other functions on the land allotted to it for airport operations and ancillary facilities across the country.

An SC bench, comprising Justice Ijaz Ul Ahsan and Justice Qazi Muhammad Amin Ahmed, headed by the Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Gulzar Ahmed, passed the order at the SC Karachi registry today. The apex court was hearing an application of CAA regarding the allotment of its land to some private parties by the Sindh Board of Revenue.

The CAA in the hearing today submitted that it was allotted 209 acres of land for constructing Jinnah International Terminal at Karachi airport in 1992. However, it said, the Sindh Board of Revenue carved out two plots from it and later allotted them to private parties.

The Director-General CAA, who was also present in the courtroom on notice and was confronted by the CJP on the issue of marriage halls on CAA lands at airports, submitted that the ‘CAA Act’ allowed it to take measures for revenue generation.

“This is how would you generate revenue? See the pathetic conditions of your airports where international airlines had stopped arriving,” asked the chief justice.

The Sindh government was not providing it copies of the surveys about the Karachi airport land, the DG CAA complained.

After allotting plots to private parties on summaries that had proven fake in an inquiry conducted by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), the Sindh Board of Revenue was again measuring the land allotted to the CAA, he added.

Justice Amin reminded the DG CAA that nowhere in the world airports were used for the activities the CAA was approving in Pakistan.

The apex court issued notice to Director-General FIA to appear before it with relevant records and restrained the CAA from managing and holding marriage functions within the premises of all the airports of the country.

The SC also dismissed a petition by Shamsul Haq and five others who approached the court against the purported allotment of a green belt in PECHS Block-6 to K-Electric (K-E) by PECHS Society for setting up its grid station.

During the hearing, it transpired that petitioners’ own houses were located on the green belt, which was an amenity land.

The court ruled that while allotment of the green belt of K-E, which being a private commercial entity could buy land for setting up of grid station, was apparently not according to law, the petitioners also had not come to the court with clean hands.

The court dismissed the petition and issued notice to secretary PECHS to appear before it on the next hearing with relevant records.

Adsence 300X250