SC blasts Punjab govt over failure to resolve Gujranwala school plot encroachment


–Punjab govt could not provide land to a school, remarks Justice Qazi Faez Essa

–SC judge says govt submitted ‘a meaningless paper’ in court

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) on Friday blasted the government of Punjab in its failure to resolve the issue of encroachment of a girls’ school in Gujranwala on Friday.

A bench of the apex court criticised the provincial government over failing to resolve the issue of encroachment of a school plot.

Justice Qazi Faez Essa, addressing the chief secretary, said that “you make big claims on media daily, can you resolve a problem apart of speeches? The government of Punjab could not provide land to a school.”

“A chief secretary could not resolve a minor problem, how is he running a province,” the judge asked.” Thirteen years were not enough for you to resolve the matter?”

Justice Gulzar said that a meaningless paper was submitted in the court. “The court will be compelled to take a decision if the government fails to do so,” he remarked.

“Don’t offer a lollypop to the court. The matter is not in the power of the chief secretary, someone else will come to decide,” Justice Gulzar further said.

The court on Thursday had given the provincial chief secretary one day to resolve the matter.

The bench told the provincial chief secretary to resolve the issue or face the consequences.

The government counsel told the bench that the government was ready to provide an alternate piece of land for the school.

Justice Gulzar said that “the government offering a lollypop; the school was on the land of trust in the centre of the city, how can a trust property be turned into a katchi abadi.” The judge remarked that regularization of a trust land is unlawful. The Justice questioned “the government what action was taken against the officers involved in an illegal act?”

Justice Gulzar also questioned the justification of providing alternate plot for the girls’ school 13 kilometres away from the actual place. “Why the katchi abadi is not being transferred to some other place?” the judge asked. “How the children will travel 13 kilometres to reach their school?”