LAHORE: Justice Ali Akbar Qureshi of the Lahore High Court (LHC) on Friday directed the Lahore district coordination officer (DCO) to remove all encroachments from the Miani Sahib graveyard within 45 days from July 1.

The DCO, who was present in court, said he would ensure compliance with the order.

The judge issued the order while hearing a petition filed by one Syed Muhammad Shah, challenging the sale of graveyard land to the Lahore Development Authority (LDA), and seeking the removal of encroachments on the graveyard’s land. The petitioner has also sought the court’s intervention to conduct an audit of the Miani Sahib Graveyard Committee (MSGC) accounts, which remain without an audit since the committee’s formation in 1958.

The judge had earlier directed the services secretary to remove illegal encroachments from the graveyard without any delay instead of verifying the claims of the occupants.

The judge had also appointed a Charted Accountancy firm to audit the MSGC accounts.

In its report, the firm confirmed serious financial irregularities in the committee’s accounts. The report also revealed irregularities in the demarcation of the graveyard land. On the court’s directions, the services secretary also formed a sub-committee to launch an anti-encroachment drive and speed up the process against the illegal occupants of graveyard land. The petitioner submitted that he had been a member of the MSGC from 1985 to 2005. A committee member told him that the LDA was trying to occupy a part of the graveyard. He said according to a Colonies Department order issued on January 22, 2005, 3-Kanal, 18-marla and 275-square foot state land in Mozang was sold to the LDA at Rs 360,000 per marla for further allotment.

Source: Daily Times