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IHC CJ Athar Minallah Orders CDA To Seal ‘Illegal’ Navy Sailing Club

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The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday ordered the Capital Development Authority (CDA) to seal the ‘illegal’ Navy Sailing Club on the Rawal Lake in Islamabad.

During the hearing, IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah said if the club wasn’t shut down by the next hearing, then the cabinet secretary will have to appear in the court.

He said under what authority the Pakistan Navy was involved in commercial enterprises and asked that the court be satisfied on this matter in the next hearing.

These aren’t the tribal areas, this is the country’s capital, the IHC CJ told the navy representative. “We appreciate your many sacrifices and respect you. This is especially because of your martyrs,” he said.

When the Pakistan Navy representative sought time to submit a reply in the case, Justice Minallah said he shouldn’t bother to defend what was indefensible. “No one is above the law, including this court,” he said.

“We respect you, appreciate your sacrifices and honour your martyrs but if you do illegal things it isn’t right,” he said. “Why are you defending something that is indefensible?”

During the hearing, Justice Minallah expressed annoyance at the CDA officials, summoning affidavits from the CDA chief and other board members.

He asked why the court shouldn’t initiate negligence proceedings against the CDA chairman and board members for failing to take action against illegal construction. A board member of the CDA informed the court that there was no allotment letter for the land on which the club is built.

When asked what the CDA had done, he said it had issued notices. “What do you mean you issued notices?” asked Justice Minallah.”Go knock down illegal buildings.”

“If the club isn’t sealed by the hearing next week, the cabinet secretary has to appear in court,” Justice Minallah said, directing that the matter be presented before the federal cabinet.

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