SC seeks land ownership record of restaurant in Margalla Hills

Spread the love

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Monday sought the complete record about the land ownership of Monal Restaurant, located in the Margalla Hills of the federal capital, and adjourned the hearing until March 21.

A three-member bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa, heard the petitions filed by Monal Restaurant, established in the Margalla Hills, as well as the Wildlife Department. The court sought the complete record from the federal government, including the original record about the 8,600 acres of the National Park land, and directed that an official from the Military State Office should appear before it on the next date of the hearing.

During the hearing, the additional attorney general informed the court that the Military Estate Office claims the land as military-owned.

However, the chief justice observed that there is no military-owned land; the land belongs to the government of Pakistan. He said that a simple question has been asked: is it owned by the CDA or by someone else? The chief justice inquired about the organisation RVF.

Advocate Salman Ikram Raja, representing Monal Restaurant, replied that it’s a Pakistan Army project related to farms and a project of the Defence Division.

The chief justice questioned the constitutional correctness of this, asking if the infantry brigade could file such an application tomorrow.

Salman Akram Raja clarified that the ownership is civil, and the case is being heard in the subordinate court. “Our case is that the Monal administration is ready to pay rent to both RVF and CDA,” he told the court.

Justice Irfan Saadat Khan pointed out the contradiction in the argument, saying that on the one hand, it’s claimed that the CDA is not the owner, but on the other hand, it’s argued that the lease from RVF is legal, which is contradictory.

The chief justice emphasised that the landlord cannot be changed arbitrarily, and the request for a degree in favour of RVF, claiming ownership since 1910 over 8,063 acres of land, needs proper substantiation.

“Show the record, as you are relying on a piece of paper that isn’t even signed by anyone,” the CJP remarked, adding that the grass farm was returned in November 2016, and if the CDA had been affected, it would have challenged it.

During the hearing, the chief justice inquired about the representative from the Military State Office.

The representative appeared, but when asked if he brought the original record, he replied in the negative. The court adjourned the hearing until March 21, directing him to bring the entire original file.

Spread the love

Related posts

Leave a Comment