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December 6, 2018

PHC issues show cause to Pervez Khattak in UoP Botanical Garden case


December 6, 2018

PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court (PHC) on Wednesday issued show-cause notice to Defence Minister Pervez Khattak to submit a reply within three days in a contempt of court petition.

A division bench headed by Justice Qaiser Rashid Khan issued the show-cause notice to defence minister in the contempt of court petition against him over the possession of a vast piece of land of the University of Peshawar`s Botanical Garden in Azakhel area by the Nowshera district administration in violation of the court`s order.

The court issued the order in the petition filed by the University of Peshawar syndicate against the Nowshera district government`s act of cancellation of lease of the land given for the Botanical Garden and Centre of Biodiversity and taking possession of the land.

The court had declared the KP government decision to establish a private university on the land null and void. A contempt petition was also filed against non-compliance with the court orders on hand-over of the property of the Botanical Gardens of the University of Peshawar.

Two other respondents in the case are the then Nowshera district nazim and now MPA, Liaquat Khattak, brother of Pervez Khattak and Deputy Commissioner Iftikhar Alam.

Justice Qaiser Rashid Khan observed that law is for all whether it is the chief minister or a common man and no relaxation is given if the court order is violated.

Interestingly, the contempt petition was filed in 2016 and after issuance of contempt notice in September the same year, the case was again put up for hearing now.

In the contempt petition, it was prayed before the court to restrain the respondents from taking any step for handing over the property of Botanical Garden of the University of Peshawar at Azakhel Payan to any other private university or organisation.

It was prayed in the contempt petition to initiate contempt of court proceedings against the contemnors and have them punished in accordance with the law.

During the hearing, the lawyer informed the bench that the PHC in 2014 had allowed the University of Peshawar writ petition.

It had declared the decision of the then chief minister to allot the University of Peshawar property to other private universities as void. The counsel said the provincial government then challenged the PHC decision in the Supreme Court. The government later withdrew the petition after smelling that it was likely to be dismissed.

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