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National

January 9, 2015

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SC dismisses petitions seeking construction of Kalabagh Dam

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) Thursday dismissed petitions, seeking construction of controversial Kalabagh Dam with the observation that it was the responsibility of the government to convene meeting of Council of Common Interest (CCI).
A three-member bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice Nasirul Mulk heard identical petitions pertaining to construction of Kalabagh Dam.Appearing on notice, A K Dogar, counsel for a group of engineers, submitted that the high court had passed an order in 2012, issuing clear directives to the federal government to take steps to implement the decisions of the CCI regarding the construction of Kalabagh Dam.
He contended that the decision of the learned high court should be implemented in letter and spirit.The chief justice observed that the decision of the high court was not yet challenged hence the learned high court should be approached for the implementation of its judgment.
A K Dogar replied that he had already filed an application before the learned high court but no proper order could be passed on it.He submitted that to develop consensus between the federation and provinces on the collective financial matters, it is responsibility of the CCI or the court should issue directives to the government to convene the meeting of CCI for developing consensus and resolve the matter in the interest of the country.
The chief justice observed that it is the responsibility of the government to convene the meeting of CCI. “How could the court ask the government to do so,” the chief justice asked the learned counsel.
A K Dogar submitted that the government has no concern with the problems being faced by the public in the wake of floods and it is the responsibility of the court to decide the matter in public interest.
He feared that Pakistan is going to face severe water crisis in the next 10 years. “Had Kalabagh Dam been constructed, Nowshera could have been saved from flood,” Dogar submitted.
The

learned counsel alleged that the issue of construction of Kalabagh Dam was highly politicised adding that courts are made for the litigants and it should decide the public importance cases.
“My experience tells me that the apex court did not accept my arguments and it would be better to issue notices to other petitioners to hear them and maybe they could satisfy the court,” A K Dogar concluded.The chief justice dismissed the petition, represented by A K Dogar, and also dismissed other petitions for non-prosecution.

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