LAHORE – Lahore High Court Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed on Monday directed the Lahore Development Authroity (LDA) to file a reply by April 15, on an application requesting to stay the auction of 26 shops and restaurant at the first floor of Liberty Park & Ride Plaza. The application was filed by owners of shops near the plaza. They are Mohammad Saleem Hafeez, Mian Mohammad Haroon of Hotel MelRose Inn, Arshad Kareem Qureshi of Toy Land, M Zakariya Basheer Malik and Arif Mehmood of Liberty Gift Center, Syed Dilawar Shah of Alnafay Shopping Mall.
The petitioners filed the application, for a stay against the auction, into their main petition pending against the construction of the plaza. The petitioners’ counsel Muhammad Azhar Siddique prayed the court to stay the proposed auction. The court in response sought a reply from LDA. Azhar said that the plaza’s construction was illegal as it was constructed on a land meant for a public park. He said that this action was based on malafide intent to deprive the shopkeepers of their rights. He said the plaza’s construction disallowed customers to park vehicles in front of their shops, which was ‘unconstitutional’.
Azhar said that the LHC issued pre-admission notice to the LDA and other respondents on February 9, 2011, and since then they have been making efforts to realize ‘ulterior motives’ to sale or auction all shops so that the interests could be shifted to the intended purchasers in order to cause hurdle in the fair decision of this petition. He requested to stay the auction until the decision on the petition.