Lahore High Court (LHC) Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed on Friday heard the petition seeking the conversion of the Governor House into a housing colony of 786 plots of equal measure to generate revenue over Rs 15 billion also making the place an ‘architectural wonder of the world’.
Deputy Attorney General Naveed Inayat Malik told the court that in 1975 the president of Pakistan, using his powers under the constitution, made the Governor House a personal residence for the governor and since then it was being used for the purpose. He objected to the petition saying that the case was not maintainable as the petitioner had no locus standi in the matter.
He said the petitioner had no right to ask for the conversion of the Governor’s House into a colony. The judge however allowed the petitioner to file his rejoinder till the next date of hearing against the alleged presidential orders issued in 1975 to make Governor House a personal residence for Punjab’s governor. The court adjourned the hearing till November 8.
THE PETITION: The petition was filed by Barrister Muhammad Iqbal Jafree in public interest. The petitioner argued that provision of food, health, residential and educational facilities was the prime responsibility of the government and the revenue that will be collected from the plots in the Governor House would aptly serve this purpose.
He said that like other democratic and civilized states, the governor should be given an ordinary residence to live in. He said the Governor House was built during the British Raj to infuse fear of the ‘alien’ Englishman in the common man but now the case was totally different as Pakistan was a ‘poor nation’ which could not afford such luxuries.