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DHA’s possession of roads: Supreme Court seeks documents to ascertain original layout

LAHORE  (December 21, 2010) : The Supreme Court of Pakistan has directed Defence Housing Authority (DHA) to resolve the matter of letting its roads to the neighbouring residential schemes amicably. The bench, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, directed Collector, Board of Revenue to appear before the court on Tuesday (today) with the relevant record including Musawi of 1949 to ascertain layout of the passages in the original official documents.Chief Justice of Pakistan, however, remarked, “courts cannot allow creation of no go areas in the country under the guise of authorities and societies”. He added, “if they were allowed to do so, everyone would claim sovereign right on the area, inviting a serious chaos in the country’. He further said, “This is commoners’ society, commoners country and came into being as a result of commoners’ sacrifices, and the privileged class cannot be allowed to trample their rights for the sake of its own facilities.”

Earlier, respondent Punjab Co-operative Housing Society (PCHS) and Builders and Developers (BD) submitted that a 60-feet wide and 300 yards long road, leading from Ghazi Road to Kamahan area, passing through AA and BB blocks of DHA. DHA authorities blocked the roads in year 1989 and ever since, it is not letting them use it.

The counsel for BD submitted that they had a dispute over a 151-feet long road leading to their Fort Villas, owned by Seth Abid. They said DHA authorities are not letting them use the passage, which is against the law. On his turn, counsel for DHA submitted that they constructed the roads on their own and these were their personal property and thus, have the right to stop anybody from using them.

At this, Justice Khalil-ur-Rehman Ramday said that residential societies in Lahore would become sovereign states if they were given right to prevent others from using their roads. He added that ‘there were DHAs in Karachi and Islamabad but there was no such restriction’.

He further said that question is not limited to the appellant, as the decision of the SC has to affect societies all over the country. He noted that in the original plan of the area, not less than 15 villages existed in the DHA and if original status of roads and passages is restored, many costly buildings would be abolished and the passages might also be created through the famous golf course of DHA.

Source: Business Recorder