Islamabad High Court orders demolition of Navy Sailing Club

Jan 7, 2022: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Friday ruled that the construction of the Navy Sailing Club was illegal and ordered its demolition within three weeks.

Delivering judgment on the petition of the citizen, Chief Justice of Islamabad High Court Athar Minallah also sought a report on the implementation of the order. The IHC Chief Justice ruled that “the Navy does not have the authority to engage in any real estate project”, adding that the Capital Development Authority (CDA) had given the Naval Farms a No Objection Certificate (NOC) that they aren’t authorized to do so.

The court also ordered criminal and indecent action against former naval chief Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi and other officials who inaugurated the club. The Chief Justice said that “Pakistan’s Armed Forces have an important status and their mandate is defined in the Constitution”. He added that the Navy does not have the authority to initiate real estate projects and that its name cannot be used for the real estate business.

A day earlier, Justice Athar Minullah had heard a similar case relating to construction of Sailing Club and Naval Farms and after hearing the arguments, reserved judgment. At the beginning of the hearing, the Chief Justice questioned the CDA member that the court wanted to clarify two points before giving its verdict. He questioned whether the civic body had issued a no-objection certificate to anyone even though there was no such provision in the law. The court further inquired whether construction could take place in Zone 4 in 1994. CDA member planning took the position that “farmhouses had such permission at that time”.

He told the court that the Naval Sailing Club was still sealed, adding that if any building violated the law, it could be demolished.

When questioned by the bench, the CDA member replied that if the NOC of a society is revoked, the authority seizes the housing society and seals its offices.

The court questioned why no action was taken against the constructions around Rawal Lake.

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