Bani Gala encroachments case will be a test for Imran's govt: CJP

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court of Pakistan resumed hearing a case pertaining to illegal encroachments in the federal capital’s Bani Gala vicinity.

As the hearing went under way today, Pakistan Surveyor Akhtar Jamil Rao — who was summoned by the apex court during yesterday’s proceedings — was present.

Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Mian Saqib Nisar noted that the apex court was not satisfied with the performance of the survey department. “Survey of Pakistan has not completed the task of surveying the federal capital and covering drain,” said.

The surveyor general then apprised the court that the Rawalpindi Revenue Department had not made available the records and maps to complete the task at hand.

Expressing his displeasure with the performance of the revenue department, Justice Nisar ordered the department to immediately make the required documents available today. “We will take action against the department in case of non-cooperation. The revenue department has not taken the court’s orders seriously,” he said.

“Employees of the revenue department are not to leave the Supreme Court’s premises today till they provide the survey department with the required record,” Justice Nisar said.

The top judge further noted that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan, whose party bagged the most votes in the National Assembly in the recently held polls, had petitioned the court to take up the encroachments case.

“Imran Khan is about to form the government and he is likely to take up this matter. He will become an example for the people and this case will be a test for Imran,” Justice Nisar remarked during the proceedings.

The additional attorney general then requested the incoming government to decide on the case. “Section-144 has been imposed in Bani Gala. It is suggested that the incoming government look into the matter,” the state attorney said.

The chief justice then responded by saying he had no objection if the incoming government would take up the matter. “Imran Khan is aware of the problems of Bani Gala. The court is not opposed to the prospect that the incoming government will take up this matter,” Justice Nisar said.

The apex court then reiterated its earlier orders to complete the pending survey within the additional 45 days granted at the request of the survey department.

The hearing was then adjourned till completion of the survey.

The case

Last year, the Capital Development Authority (CDA) had informed the apex court that more than 100 structures in Bani Gala, including Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan’s residence, are illegal.
The case is based on a suo motu notice which originated from Imran’s petition seeking the court’s intervention to stem illegal construction and environmental degradation in Bani Gala.