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SC grills CDA over illegal commercial activities
12-18-2014, 12:48 PM
Post: #1
SC grills CDA over illegal commercial activities
Supreme Court of Pakistan’s Justice Jawwad S Khawaja Wednesday grilled the Capital Development Authority, saying that it seemed as if the authority was pursuing colonial era laws rather than its own rules and regulations.

A three-member bench of SC presided over by Justice Khawaja took up the case for hearing Wednesday. He remarked, “Hotels are operating in residential areas. The presence of foreign embassies in residential areas has been allowed under what rules and laws. 2,075 commercial activities are continuing since how long before and who has allowed these activities.”

“How can it be possible that applications from people are received under one window operation and their record is not maintained? Has CDA employed a babu who provides facility of one window but does not maintain its record?”

Justice Dost Muhammad Khan has remarked, “Is rule of law in place in our country or law to govern. Law does not allow commercial activities in residential areas and residential activities in commercial areas. Then how this all is going on in Islamabad.”

Justice Qazi Faiz Essa remarked, “Revenue of billion of rupees is being wasted due to non-according of permission by CDA for carrying out commercial activities formally.”

At the inception of hearing of the case Justice Khawaja inquired from CDA deputy director building control about the number of applications received about the encroachments set up in residential areas of Islamabad.

The said officer told the court that he was not aware of the information. He added that the applications were received under one window operation.

Justice Khawaja, while expressing displeasure over it, remarked, “Has some babu been appointed who collects applications but does not maintain their record. How can it be possible that applications are received and their record is not maintained? Half an hour is given to you. Please go and present all the details in the court. Replies to all our questions will have to be given.”

Later, the report was presented. It was said therein that police have closed some streets for security reasons which include Mariot Hotel, other offices and hotels. However efforts have been made that least inconvenience is caused to general public.

The report said that 2,075 houses located in residential areas of federal capital are being used for commercial purpose. The embassies of Norway, Denmark, Kuwait and Sudan are functioning in residential areas. As many as 392 schools, 174 guest houses, 141 hotels, 19 government offices and 771 private offices are operating in Islamabad. The report was filed by counsel for CDA chairman.

Hafiz Hifz ur Rehman counsel for CDA told the court, “We can do nothing with regard to commercial activities or encroachments set up by embassies in residential areas. We send the complaints to foreign office.”

The court, while adjourning the hearing of the case till January 16. directed the petitioner to file his reply before it in the light of CDA report.
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