LAHORE, Oct 11: The Parks and Horticulture Authority (PHA) on Tuesday admitted before the Lahore High Court that the land where Liberty Park and Ride Plaza had been built was in the authority’s possession and was later rented out.

The PHA counsel further stated in the court that the land in question was rented out owing to some misunderstanding.

At this, petitioner’s counsel pointed out that after the PHA’s confession it had been established that the plaza was built on a park owned by the authority and it had rented out some part of the park.

Advocate Muhammad Azhar Siddique argued that the construction of the plaza was in clear violation of many Supreme Court judgments and recent LHC decision in Gulberg Doongi Ground case.

Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed remarked the PHA admitted its mistake and similarly the Lahore Development Authority (LDA) would also follow the suit but those responsible would have to pay the price of the mistake.

“Construction of the plaza has also marred beauty of the Liberty Chowk,” the judge further said in his remarks.

The judge directed the PHA counsel to produce on next hearing the sitemap and record of renting out the space prior to construction of the plaza. The judge postponed hearing till Oct 13.

Many shop owners of Liberty Market filed the petition against construction of the plaza, saying the land was originally allocated for a park.

The petitioners said the land was an open space owned by the PHA which illegally transferred it to the LDA for construction of the plaza.

They said the plaza shops were badly affecting their business.

They requested the court to declare that open space was still owned and controlled by the PHA and that all subsequent transactions or transfers by any authority were without any legal jurisdiction and had to be treated as nullities in law.

The petitioners also challenged closure of roads in the vicinity of the plaza.