Court orders removal of illegal constructions in F8

  • Justice Shaukat Siddiqui takes lawyers to task for encroachments on football field

ISLAMABAD: The representatives of lawyers were taken to task for defending their fellow colleagues who had encroached the football ground adjacent to the district courts in F-8 and had raised multiple permanent and temporary structures illegally.

In a landmark judgment on Monday, Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui condemned the act and ordered removal of illegal constructions from the area within a month, according to the judgment. The petition against the lawyers was filed last year when the area was allegedly encroached for the construction of law chambers.

After the issue surfaced in media, Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Mian Saqib Nisar took suo motu notice of the issue and asked the Capital Development Authority (CDA) chairman to take prompt action against the encroachers. However, the leadership of the accused lawyers decided to take the matter before the Islamabad High Court.

During the hearing on Monday, Justice Shaukat Siddiqui condemned the act and termed it totally illegal, unconstitutional and against the moral values and code of conduct. The representatives of the lawyers prayed for one month’s time so they could come up with a strategy with regard to getting the football ground clear.

The court granted them one month and matter was postponed till October 10. “It is expected that by showing maximum responsibility and by realizing the grace of profession, the representatives and lawyers themselves shall come up with a positive response, so that any uncalled-for situation may be avoided,” the order read.

In the same order, Justice Siddiqui took notice of media houses operating in the residential areas. The court had already time till August 1st to vacate the premises but to no avail. Justice Siddiqui showed resentment on the issue and said that despite the lapse of almost 40 days, needful was not done, which was nothing but an attempt to undermine the court’s authority.

The court asked the relevant authority to submit a detailed report in this regard by Tuesday (today). The cases of encroachments by the lawyers have witnessed a significant increase in the recent past due to limited space available in the premises of the district courts.

The plan to move the district courts out of its present location is yet to see the light of day as repeated delaying tactics by the Planning Commission and the Finance Division for the past four years have exhausted all attempts by the Ministry of Law and Justice to go ahead with the construction of the District Courts East, a Rs 196.6 million project.

The government plans to relocate the District Courts West to the building that presently houses the Islamabad High Court in G-10/1. As in the mid of the next year, the new building of the high court that is currently under-construction in G-5, would be completed at the cost of Rs2.6 billion over an area of five acres.