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DHA agrees to resolve road passage dispute with contesting parties

LAHORE: A three-member bench of the Supreme Court on Tuesday, on an appeal of the Defence Housing Authority (DHA) against the Lahore High Court verdict, again directed that it would be better for both parties to sit together and resolve the issue of giving road passage for two adjacent housing societies.

The DHA counsel said he was ready to sit with contesting parties after which the bench adjourned the hearing for December 23.

The bench, comprising Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Jawwad S Khawaja and Justice Khalilur Rehman Ramday, was hearing DHA’s appeal against the Lahore High Court order to open roads, which it had blocked on claim that they were exclusively owned by the DHA.

The DHA counsel stated that the authority had provided 13 entry points to commoners and villagers of adjacent areas but it was not willing to let them use the road from Ghazi Road to Kamahan.

The chief justice asked him, “How is it possible that a man is permitted to use the street No 45 but at the same time is not allowed to use street No 50?”

He submitted that the DHA was a private housing society and it had exclusive rights over thoroughfares on its land. If commoners were allowed to use these roads, the area would become like that of Gawalmandi and Nisbet Road.

The chief justice expressed his displeasure, remarking, “The real picture of Pakistan is portrayed in Gawalmandi and Nisbet Road. DHA is not the real Pakistan.”

He observed that every citizen had a constitutional right to free movement, which could not be curbed. He asked him to cite any law under which the DHA could restrict people’s movement. The counsel had no answer.

The chief justice observed, “The DHA cannot be allowed to do whatever it wants to. Law will prevail and the Supreme Court cannot go beyond the scope of constitution.”

He observed that the DHA should address security concerns but should not convert it into a “no-go area”.

A revenue official presented land records of the DHA. After examining it, Justice Khawaja remarked that when the society was developed, there were at least 25 entry and exit points.

The counsel for the Punjab Cooperative Housing Society (PCHS) submitted that 60 feet wide and three hundred yards long road leading from Ghazi Road to Kamahan area, passing through AA and BB blocks of DHA, was blocked by DHA authorities in 1989 and since then it was not letting them use it.

The Builders and Developers (BD) counsel submitted that they had a dispute over the 151 feet long road leading to their scheme, the Fort Villas. He contended that the DHA authorities were not letting them use the passage.

Adulterated milk case: Justice Chaudhry Muhammad Tariq of the Lahore High Court, on Tuesday, while reserving the judgement on a petition against the supply of adulterated milk to the people, remarked that “it is the duty of all of us to ensure provision of healthy milk to our children”.

Barrister Zafarullah Khan of the Watan Party Pakistan had moved the petition in which he had submitted that 80 percent milk supplied to the market was poisonous and was a source of deaths. He had contended that out of 19,718 samples of milk collected by the Food Department in the last five years, almost 17,529 samples were found adulterated.

Plea against restriction of form B submission: Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed of the Lahore High Court on Tuesday issued notices to all the boards of intermediate and secondary education in Punjab on a petition seeking directions for proper supply of admission forms to matriculation students.

The judge ordered the boards to submit their reply by January 14, 2011.

A law firm, Muhammad and Ahmad, had filed the petition, in which it had challenged the boards’ restriction of submitting form-B at the time of students’ enrolment for Matriculation.

In his civil miscellaneous application filed in the main petition recently, the petitioner’s counsel, Muhammad Azhar Siddque, submitted that now the boards had started playing with the future of the students under the pretext of requiring certain forms along with the form B. He said that as per the boards, these forms could be downloaded from their (boards) websites. But in fact, he added, these forms were not available on the websites.

The counsel said that the petitioner and its team tried their level best to download these forms but remained unsuccessful, “so it stands proved that all the boards have indulged in defrauding the students and their parents by requiring the downloadable forms from their websites”.

He contended that the provincial boards were obligated to provide admission forms in hard copies because the charges of the forms were inclusive in the examination fee, which they received from the students.

Petition dismissed: Justice Iqbal Hameedur Rehman of the Lahore High Court on Tuesday dismissed a petition seeking direction to the government to purchase electricity from China on low price.

While rejecting the petition, he observed that it was a policy matter and the court has no right to interfere in policy matters.

Advocate Rana Illamud Din submitted in his petition that the country was facing power shortage which was badly affecting the economy and daily life of the people.

He submitted that China had extended an offer to Pakistan for supplying power at low price. The offered price was reasonable and the government should at once accept it to boost the national economy, he added.

He requested to direct the government for buying electricity as offered by China instead of generating it through expensive means, including rental power plants.

Source: Daily Times

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