LAHORE, Jan 22: A petition has been filed in the Lahore High Court (LHC) challenging the establishment of Liberty Park and Ride Shopping Plaza at Liberty Market, Lahore.

Judicial Activism Panel chairman Muhammad Azhar Siddique, joined by six shop owners of Liberty Market, filed the petition.

The petitioners contended the transfer of open space to Lahore Development Authority (LDA) for constructing the plaza was illegal, based on mala fide, unreasonable, and in violation of the fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution.

They have prayed to court to declare that the said open space is still owned and controlled by the Parks and Horticulture Authority (PHA), and that all subsequent transactions or transfers of the space are without any legal jurisdiction and have to be treated as nullity in law.

They say the development authorities, PHA and LDA, have no jurisdiction and authority to go into business other than those prescribed in the Acts, regulations and rules. Therefore, they contended, the court might cancel all the notifications issued by the PHA and the Punjab government purporting transfer of the said open space to LDA.

The petitioners also seek cancellation of the notification creating PHA under the Punjab Development of Cities Act, 1976 and restoration of parking and other related facilities to them in its original position before the inauguration of the plaza.

The Pakistan government, through the federal law secretary, the Punjab government through the law and parliamentary affairs secretary, housing, urban development and public health engineering department, LDA, PHA and TEPA have been made party in the petition.