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January 15, 2021

Illegal possession of ETPB land: LHC CJ takes notice of non-compliance of court order

National

January 15, 2021

LAHORE: Lahore High Court Chief Justice Muhammad Qasim Khan on Thursday took exception to non-compliance of an order by the police regarding ending illegal possession of land belonging to the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) and summoned senior officials of the provincial government and the police.

The chief justice had on December 16, 2020 sought a compliance report after Inspector General of Police (IGP)

Inam Ghani submitted an undertaking to end possession by the Police Department of 72 Kanals of the ETPB.

Several petitioners had contended through a counsel that the Police Department in 2001 had requested the Evacuee Trust Property Board to let it construct the Elite Police Training School on 72 Kanal and seven Marlas.

The police authorities had offered the Evacuee Trust Property Board land of the same size but in a scattered form at three points.

He said the board materialized the land deal in 2011 and later leased out the land it got in exchange to the petitioners and other individuals.

However, he said, the police once again took over the land during 2020 and deprived the petitioners of their lawful possession granted by the Evacuee Trust Property Board.

He said the police had been harassing the petitioners through personnel of the Special Branch.

On Thursday, Advocate Asif Awan appeared on behalf of the petitioners to plead a contempt petition, saying that the police had not complied with the court order.

On the other side, the Police Department filed a civil miscellaneous application for the ‘clarification’ of the December 16 order, which irked the chief justice.

The chief justice observed that he did not want to abolish the basic structure of the elite police. Rather, he wants to save billions of rupees invested in terms of the training school.

He warned of criminal cases against all those responsible for the non-compliance of the court order.

He summoned additional secretary home, IGP and director general of the Anti-Corruption Establishment on Friday (today).