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Navy Sailing Club Be Sealed, orders Islamabad High Court

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The Islamabad High Court ordered on Thursday the Navy Sailing Club on the Rawal Lake to be sealed. It said the building was constructed illegally.

Chief Justice Athar Minallah expressed his extreme displeasure at the CDA and ordered the club to be sealed by the interior secretary through the CDA immediately.

He also summoned affidavits from the CDA chairman and board members.

Under what authority is the Pakistan Navy operating a commercial project, he demanded. The court ordered that it be satisfied on the matter at the next hearing.

If the club isn’t sealed by the hearing next week, the cabinet secretary has to appear in court. Justice Minallah also ordered the matter to be presented before the federal cabinet.

These aren’t the tribal areas, this is the country’s capital, he said. We appreciate your many sacrifices and respect you, he told the navy representative. This is especially because of your martyrs, he said.

“But no one is above the law. Not this court nor anyone else.”

The judge called the CDA’s reply alarming and they have been unable to assert their authority. A board member of the CDA informed the court that there was no allotment letter for the land on which the club is built.

When asked what the CDA had done, he said it had issued notices. “What do you mean you issued notices?” asked Justice Minallah.”Go knock down illegal buildings.”

The additional attorney-general told the court he wants to assist it, but Justice Minallah told him he couldn’t. Go seal the building instead, he said.

The board member told the court that the prime minister gave permission for construction along the Rawal Lake. Answer what I am asking you, the chief justice said.

He questioned the CDA’s attitude towards the poor and asked why they had a different attitude now. Tell us whether the sailing club is illegal or legal, he asked.

The member called it an “unapproved building”. “What does that mean? That means it’s illegal,” said Justice Minallah. He reminded everyone that the law will be followed as no one is above it.

When the Pakistan Navy representative asked for time to submit a reply Justice Minallah asked what he wanted time for. “No one is above the law, including this court,” he said.

“We respect you, appreciate your sacrifices and honour your martyrs but if you do illegal things it isn’t right,” he said. “Why are you defending something that is indefensible?”

He asked why the court shouldn’t initiate negligence proceedings against the CDA chairman and board members.

SOURCE: SAMAA NEWS