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Monal, Navy Gold Course sealed over IHC orders

The court also ordered the authorities to seal the Monal Hotel after observing that the hotel was erected on the encroached land. Image: File

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Tuesday declared the occupation of 8,000 acres of land by the Military Directorate farms ‘illegal’ and ordered the Capital Development Authority (CDA) to take over the Navy Golf course and seal the Monal restaurant, which is built at Margalla Hills National Park area.

While hearing a case against encroachment on Margalla National Park, Chief Justice IHC Justice Athar Minallah ordered the secretary defence to complete inquiry in the case of encroachment by Navy Golf Course and take action against the responsible persons.

Read more: IHC orders to demolish Navy Sailing Club on Rawal Lake

Justice Minallah remarked: “The lawlessness benefits the elite only. Rule of law also applies to all sectors of forces”.

He asked under which law the 8,000 acres of land was allotted to Navy Golf Course and ordered to consider the land as part of Margalla National Park.

The court asked who would do the demarcation of the Margalla National Park.

To this, the CDA chairman told the court that the district collector with the help of the Deputy Commissioner Office and Survey of Pakistan would complete this task. He further informed the court that without any proper deliberation, alterations were being carried out in the master plan.

The CDA chairman said that every institute had indulged in illegal occupation somewhere and the issue would be presented in the cabinet meeting.

Justice Minallah remarked that the court was protecting the National Park area for posterity. “We are trying to save whatever remaining park we have got,” he said.

To which, the secretary defence said that the park could be saved only after action upon the laws.

Justice Minallah remarked that irregularity was found in 1,400 square miles of land and three sectors of the armed forces were popped here. The court could not allow anyone to make the armed forces controversial, he added.

He further remarked that “Law is clear on who will manage the armed forces’ land and how”. The armed institutions were not autonomous, they must obey the law, he maintained.

The CJ IHC observed that the Pakistan Navy had built a Golf Course after encroaching upon the park land which was not good as every citizen respected the armed forces.

Justice Minallah remarked that the National Park area was protected and no activity could be taken out on its turf. Even people could not be allowed to cut grass here, he said.

Read more: IHC bars CDA to demolish shanty towns in capital city

The court asked the additional attorney general what would happen with the piece of land which remained useless. The additional attorney general replied that the executive was authorised to decide about it.

Justice Minallah asked if approval was given to the Pakistan Air Force for constructions. No property could be transferred to another institution, he said.

The court asked who was claiming the 8,000 kanals land of the Monal Hotel. It remarked that now the land was part of the National Park area and it would be managed under the 1979 law.

The court also ordered the authorities to seal the Monal Hotel after observing that the hotel was erected on the encroached land.

Later the court adjourned the hearing.

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