IHC orders removal of ‘illegal’ lawyers’ chambers, structures from sports ground

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday ordered the demolition of all illegal structures, including chambers of lawyers, from a sports ground in the federal capital’s F-8 area.

The decision was given by a larger bench headed by IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah in a plea filed by a citizen, Shehnaz Butt, against the encroachments.

Terming the structures on the state’s land illegal, the court directed the authorities to remove the structures from the district katcheri and all other said places.

According to the verdict, “the construction of chambers by the Islamabad High Court Bar Association on the football ground is illegal”.

The judgment further stated, “If the lawyers don’t move from the ground, the federal government and the CDA [Capital Development Authority] should have it forcefully evicted by March 23.”

The court also ordered to organise a football tournament between school students on the same day to pay homage to Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah.

Simultaneously, the verdict added, “the construction of the district court complex should be completed without delay.” Officials must submit a report of its progress with the registrar on the first day of every month.

The judges also directed the government to take action against the officials encroaching on the state’s land.

Moreover, “the government may ascertain the construction of a judicial complex for the lawyers by March 23, 2022”.

On Monday, while expressing displeasure over last week’s ransacking of the high court, Islamabad High Court (IHC) Chief Justice Athar Minallah called for lawyers involved in the attack to be given exemplary punishment.

On February 8, hundreds of lawyers ransacked the high court, including the IHC CJ’s chambers, during a protest over demolition of illegally built lawyers’ chambers.

(This story has been published from The Express Tribune feed, without modifications to the text)