The Islamabad High Court (IHC) directed the Pakistan Navy on Thursday to follow the procedure before filing pleas challenging the high court’s January 7 and 11 orders to raze the Navy Sailing Club and directing the Capital Development Authority (CDA) to take possession of naval farms and golf course.
The Pakistan Navy withdrew the two appeals following the IHC’s directives, hours after it had filed. The case was heard by Justice Amir Farooq and Justice Mian Gul Hassan Aurangzeb. During the proceedings, the IHC questioned whether the branch of the armed forces could directly file an appeal without the secretary of defense.
The counsel for Pakistan Navy argued that a brief verdict was issued on January 11 and Pakistan Navy was not given any notice nor was it a party to the case neither was it heard. To this, Justice Hassan remarked that the Pakistan Navy maybe an affected party but only the federation could file an appeal. The navy does not have a secretary defense of its own, Justice Farooq stated.
“Everyone undoubtedly respects the armed forces, but they cannot file (a plea) directly without the secretary of defense,” the court said, asking whether the attorney general of Pakistan could file an appeal in his individual capacity after leaving office. As the court raised technical questions, the Pakistan Navy withdrew both its petitions. They will now be filed once the corrections have been made.
Earlier, the IHC had ruled that Pakistan Navy had no jurisdiction or authority to directly or indirectly engage in real estate venture and build its Sailing Club on the embankment of Rawal Lake. The court also declared the PN Farms illegal and noted that the federal government would take action against a former naval chief for his involvement in the projects. The court had also declared the NOC issued for Pakistan Naval Farms illegal. “The name of Pakistan Navy, nor of any state institution, can be used directly or indirectly for a real estate venture having no concern with the functions of such an institution or department,” read a 45-page judgment authored by IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah. On January 11, the high court declared that the allotment of 8,068 acres of land to the Pakistan Army in the National Park of Islamabad is against the law.
“The claim of Remount, Veterinary and Farms Directorate of Pakistan Army regarding 8,068 acres of land in the notified National Park area is in violation of the Ordinance of 1979 read with the Ordinance of 1960 and the Master Plan,” an 11-page judgment authored by IHC CJ Athar Minallah said.
The court also said that Pakistan Navy had encroached upon state land, including in the notified area of the National Park by illegally establishing a golf course outside the allocated Sector E-8.
“The construction on the encroached land and establishing a golf course was and continues to be illegal, without lawful authority and jurisdiction.
“The purported Navy Golf Course shall forthwith be sealed and its possession handed over to the Capital Development Authority and the Islamabad Wildlife Management Board.
“The construction on the encroached land of Navy Golf Course shall be demolished within four weeks from the date of the order unless it can be utilized for an environmentally friendly activity.” It said that the CDA and Islamabad Wildlife Management Board will jointly restore the encroached land of Navy Golf Course as part of the National Park.