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IHC bars CDA to demolish shanty towns in capital city

Contempt of court laws do not protect ex-CJP from criticism: IHC

Chief Justice of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) Athar Minallah—Image: File

ISLAMABAD:  The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday barred the Capital Development Authority (CDA) from evacuating and demolishing shanty towns during winters. It’s “tragic” all the development in Islamabad takes place for the elite, the court remarked.

During the hearing of a case regarding illegal settlements Chief Justice Islamabad High Court Justice Athar Minallah remarked that it’s “tragic” all the development in Islamabad takes place for the elite. “Our state lacks the mindset of working for everyone, irrespective of their classes.”

Justice Minallah asked CDA if they have any scheme for the middle and lower-middle-class in its master plan for Islamabad. “Are people living in shanties, not humans? Do they not deserve better?” “You people [CDA] just issue notices to the elite but rampage against those living in these shantytowns,” he added.

To this CDA representative told the court that the authority has sealed an illegal factory in E-11 and seized their machinery. The owners of the factory were powerful and they built it without a NOC.

Justice Minallah remarked that CDA violates its own law and we have mentioned it repeatedly in several hearings. If a high court does something wrong you should issue a notice to it too.

He further remarked that the capital is the only city that is being run by the federal cabinet and prime minister, but it seems like both the federal cabinet and CDA are helpless. There is no greater disappointment for the state than realising that CDA doesn’t have a master plan. “The court is responsible for protecting the poor people. The law is equal for everyone, he added.

Later the court adjourned the hearing.

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