CDA told to submit report on F8 football ground encroachment

* CJP takes suo motu notice of alleged encroachment by lawyers

ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar on Monday took a suo motu notice of the alleged encroachment on the football ground in Sector F8 of the federal capital and directed the Capital Development Authority (CDA) to submit a report on the matter within three days.

The notice has been taken on the news in print as well as social media that the public park/football ground was being encroached upon. “The public football ground of F8 has been encroached upon by lawyers of Islamabad Bar Association (IBA) for the last many years, who are constructing their chambers there.”

In Jan 2018, lawyers began construction on the ground despite being stopped from doing so in December, 2017.

Several lawyers have constructed their chambers almost half of the area of the said ground. The construction, which started a few years ago, was halted for a brief period when the matter was widely highlighted; however, it was resumed in Dec 2017.

When contacted IBA President Riasat Ali Azad, he said that construction was initiated by the previous cabinet of the bar, and he was unable to undo their decision. He said that lawyers had obtained a stay order in their favour.

When some residents of the area approached the CDA to stop illegal construction in the ground, it refused to intervene in the matter, saying the superior judiciary should take notice of the matter.

CDA officials were of the view that they were unable to stop lawyers from constructing their chambers, adding that the Supreme Court and the Islamabad High Court (IHC), had issued directives to remove encroachments from the state land, thus they should take action illegal act of lawyers.

According to a CDA report, several lawyers had encroached upon the state land worth billions of rupees. It said that the action undertaken by lawyers was completely unlawful and stood in violations of the CDA Ordinance 1960.

According to an official of CDA’s legal team, the stay order obtained by lawyers from the court of civil judge had recently been vacated.

Lawyers were of the view that they had built their chambers on public ground because the government had not built their judicial complex and they did not have enough space.

Published in Daily Times, February  6th 2018.