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ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court, upholding the Islamabad High Court (IHC)’s verdict, ordered to demolish lawyers’ chambers and all illegal buildings/structures on the football ground in Sector F-8, Islamabad.

A three-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed, and comprising Justice Ijazul Ahsan and Justice Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi, on Tuesday, heard the writ petition of the Islamabad Bar Association (IBA) against the removal of lawyers’ chambers on football ground.

A four-member larger bench of the IHC headed by Chief Justice Athar Minallah and comprising Justice Aamer Farooq, Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani, and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb, on February 16 declared that lawyers’ chambers on sports ground in the F-8 sector of the federal capital were “illegally constructed”, and directed the relevant authorities to remove them.

During the proceeding, “All illegal chambers must be demolished,” said the CJP, adding that the lawyers do not have any claim on the football ground.

“If someone wants to practice, then that person can open their office somewhere else.”

Shoaib Shaheen advocate, representing the IBA undertook that in Sector F-8, Islamabad, plot/land of football ground/park on which some lawyers have constructed their chambers will be vacated by within two months’ time, whereupon the Capital Development Authority, Islamabad and the District Administration, Islamabad Capital Territory, will be free to demolish all construction i.e. all illegal building/structures on the land of the said football ground/park, clear the same and restore it for which the said land is meant for i.e. football ground/park.

The counsel informed that some structure of the courts have also been erected on the land of football ground/parks and if that be so, the registrar of the IHC, Islamabad, shall immediately ensure that such land is vacated, the court’s structure removed and the courts are shifted to proper regular premises.

In this regard, the registrar of the High Court shall submit a compliance report to the registrar of the apex court within one week.

The bench directed the petitioner’s counsel to file a compliance report to the Supreme Court registrar in two months.

The IHC judgment stated: “(a) The purported allotments made by the Islamabad District Bar in the playground are illegal, void and without jurisdiction and authority. (b) The encroachments on any State land and any construction thereon in violation of the Ordinance of 1960 and the rules or regulations made there under are illegal, void and liable to be removed forthwith. (c) An Advocate who takes the law into his or her own hands or violates the law in any manner whatsoever is not eligible to be certified by the High Court as ‘fit and proper’ to plead and appear before the august Supreme Court. Likewise, an enrolled Advocate who volunteers to take law in his/her own hands cannot be certified as having ‘character and conduct’ for the purposes of being enrolled as an Advocate of the High Court.”

“Since a small fraction of the total number of members of the Islamabad District Bar are beneficiaries of the illegal construction of chambers, therefore, we are confident that as a gesture towards the actual stakeholders i.e. the general public, the members of the Bar will clear the illegal construction and restore the playground for public use,” said the judgment.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021