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Army and Navy took law in their own hands; IHC declares construction of Navy Golf Course illegal

Army or officers have no mandate to lease government land for commercial purposes, says judgment

Islamabad High Court (IHC) has declared the construction of the Navy Golf Course at Margalla Hills illegal, calling it a violation by Pakistan Army and Pakistan Navy, which it said had taken the law into their own hands.

The court has instructed the Defence Ministry to conduct an inquiry and the secretary of defence to conduct a forensic audit to assess damage to the national exchequer.

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The IHC stated in its detailed judgment on Wednesday, “It is the responsibility of the state to take action against those who violate the fundamental rights of the people, however, it is ironic that state institutions are also involved in desecrating the Margalla Hills protected area.”

The 108-page detailed decision also includes the report submitted by the Islamabad Environmental Commission. The court has stated that protection of Margalla Hills was duty of the government and state officials.

Earlier on January 11, 2022 the court had issued a short order in which allotment of 8,068 acres land in the National Park, Islamabad, was declared against the law.

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The court’s judgment has also stated that armed forces members’ violation of the law was against their constitutional oath. Pakistani Army or its officers had no mandate or authorization to carry out any activity such as leasing government land for commercial purposes, the judgment said.

Islamabad High Court’s Chief Justice Athar Minallah in his 11-page judgment has stated that the claim of  Remount, Veterinary and Farms Directorate of Pakistan Army about 8,068 acres of land in the National Park area was in violation of the Ordinance 1979, read with Ordinance of 1960 and the master plan.

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