Briskly rejecting a long-shot but high-stakes case, Islamabad High Court on Tuesday tossed out the construction of the chambers built for lawyers on a sports ground in the capital’s F-8 area, calling them “illegal” and ordering that they should be razed by the relevant authorities. Tuesday’s verdict was announced by a four-judge bench headed by IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah and comprising Justice Aamer Farooq, Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb. In the written order, authored by Justice Minallah, the high court said lawyers and advocates who had allowed the building of the chambers “forcefully [took] the law in their hands.” “The facts of this case are disturbing because the conduct of a few enrolled lawyers has caused reputational damage to the entire legal fraternity.” The court observed that the encroachment on the playground had begun in 2013 and due to a restraining order passed by district courts as well as an injunction, CDA’s efforts to clear the illegal structures were halted. A number of lawyers encroached upon the Multipurpose Sports Ground adjacent to the Sector F-8 lower courts and built their chambers. The playground is being used for illegal parking and construction of chambers by the lawyers. Bricks have also been placed on the ground for demarcation of construction. The court took note of the fact that the CDA tried to stop the lawyers from encroaching upon the playground and issued eviction orders to them. However, the legal fraternity managed to secure a stay order against the notices. Having said that, Islamabad Bar Association lawyers obtained a restraining order from a senior civil judge, barring the CDA, UC administration and other respondents from creating any hurdles in the construction of temporary chambers on the State land. The verdict also noted that the federal government shall enquire into the inaction of the public functionaries and proceed against those officials who were responsible for depriving the general public from exercising the constitutionally guaranteed rights. The court came down heavily on the enrolled advocates who have accepted the purported illegal allotments had also no lawful justification to construct chamber on state’s land. IHC also directed the Federal government and the Capital Development Authority to clear the ground before March 23 if the lawyers fail to do so and take stringent action against the erring individuals in the matter. The court also held that the government will also hold a football match between students on the ground on March 23 to give tribute to the greatest lawyer of the sub-continent and founder of the nation Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah.” Moreover, the Islamabad District Bar Association will be able to submit its proposed plan to the CDA for “approval in relation to the Lawyers Plot, i.e., five-acre plot separately allotted by the federal government for the use of the lawyers.” Notably earlier this month, the CDA had razed some of the chambers that were built on the ground which led to a violent protest by the lawyers, who vandalized the IHC building on February 8. The high court had been hearing the case, filed by a private citizen, since the past few years. In 2018, the Supreme Court had also taken suo motu notice of the construction of chambers by district court lawyers on the football ground, however, that matter is still pending.