The Islamabad High Court (IHC) declared the Military Directorate farms’ occupation of 8,000 acres of land ‘illegal’ on Tuesday and ordered the Capital Development Authority (CDA) to take over the Navy Golf course and seal the Monal restaurant, which is located in the Margalla Hills National Park area.
Chief Justice IHC Justice Athar Minallah, while hearing a case against encroachment on Margalla National Park, ordered the secretary of defense to finish an investigation into the case of encroachment by Navy Golf Course and take action against those responsible.
“Lawlessness only favors the elite,” Justice Minallah said. All branches of the military are subject to the rule of law.”
He demanded to know under what statute the 8,000 acres of land granted to Navy Golf Course were allotted, and he was told that the territory should be considered part of Margalla National Park.
The court inquired as to who will be in charge of demarcating the Margalla National Park.
The CDA chairman responded by telling the court that the district collector, with the assistance of the Deputy Commissioner Office and the Pakistan Survey Department, will complete the assignment. He further informed the court that changes to the master plan were being implemented without adequate thought.
According to the CDA chairman, every institute has engaged in illegal occupation at some point, and the subject would be discussed at the cabinet meeting.
The court, according to Justice Minallah, was preserving the National Park region for future generations. “We’re trying to rescue whatever park we have left,” he explained.
The secretary of defense responded that the park could only be spared if the laws were changed.
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According to Justice Minallah, irregularities were discovered in 1,400 square miles of land, and three military sections were created here. He emphasized that the court could not allow anyone to make the military contentious.
“The law is clear on who would handle the military forces’ land and how,” he added. He stated that armed institutions are not autonomous and must follow the law.
The Pakistan Navy had established a golf course after trespassing on park space, according to the CJ IHC, which was not good because every person valued the military forces.
The National Park area was protected, according to Justice Minallah, and no activity could be carried out on its grounds. He believes that no one should be allowed to trim the grass here.
The court inquired of the extra attorney general as to what would happen to the land that remained idle. The extra attorney general said that the executive branch has the authority to make the decision.
Justice Minallah inquired if the Pakistan Air Force had received permission to build. He stated that no property may be transferred to another institution.
The court inquired as to who was claiming the Monal Islamabad Restaurant 8,000 kanals of land. It said that the land had now become part of the National Park system and would be managed in accordance with the statute of 1979.
After noticing that the Monal Hotel was built on encroached territory, the court ordered the authorities to seal it.
The hearing was then adjourned by the court.