ISLAMABAD, January 31: Providing an interim relief to the Punjab government in the Ravi Riverfront Urban Development project, the Supreme Court of Pakistan Monday gave a green signal to the provincial government to carry on work on the project and suspended the Lahore High Court’s (LHC) decision of declaring the project null and void.
However, the court did not forget to make the permission conditional as it made it clear that work only on those plots could be resumed whose owners had been made the payment by the provincial government.
Regarding the lands whose owners were yet to be paid, the apex court barred the authorities from carrying out any development work there.
The court also issued notices to parties to the case and directed them to submit complete reports on the case in one month.
A two-member bench of the apex court, headed by Justice Ijazul Ahsan, heard the appeal filed by the government against the LHC’s decision.
Justice Ijazul Ahsan said the court would ascertain whether there an intra-court appeal could be filed against the high court’s verdict. “In case there is a room for filing such an appeal, we will send the case back to the LHC,” he added.
The judge further said that the high court, in its decision, had given the reference of the US constitution. “The reality is that not only the constitutions of both the countries are different, but also the circumstances,” Justice Ijaz remarked.
When counsel for RUDA told the court that these were the owners of housing societies who had moved the LHC against the Ravi Riverfront Urban Development project, Justice Mazahir Naqvi stated that here ‘the conflict of interests’ between them and the RUDA was obvious.-NNI