Supreme Court cancels stay order against Ashiana Housing Scheme on the land of a shrine
ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC), while vacating its stay order regarding the construction of Ashiana Housing Scheme on the land of a shrine on Thursday, observed that the Punjab government could carry on the construction work on the land on its own responsibility.
A three-member bench, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, heard a petition, filed by the custodian of a shrine, Noor Shah, against the construction of Ashiana Housing Scheme on the land of a shrine
The petitioner pleaded to the court that the government of Punjab had occupied the shrine’s land for building houses and carrying out other construction related activities at the Ashiana Housing Scheme. Punjab Advocate General Khawaja Haris informed the court that Ashiana Housing Scheme was a project meant for people belonging to low-income groups, as the Punjab government had invested Rs 2 billion on the project. The chief justice remarked that grabbing others’ lands for building housing schemes was not justified. The petitioner submitted that the Punjab government had grabbed the shrine’s land for this project. “However, the government allotted the land 25 miles away from the shrine as compensation,” he added.
The CJ observed that according to the Punjab Land Ordinance, substitute lands could not be allotted against previously allocated land, adding that this scheme could be launched somewhere else. The CJ inquired from the Punjab Advocate General as to why the Punjab government had chosen this land for the project.
Khawaja Harris submitted that 500 hundred units would be constructed for low-income people under this scheme, whereas structures of 700 units had been completed for further construction.