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Tuesday November 30, 2021

New Ord has no effect on stay against Ravi project: LHC

October 28, 2021

LAHORE:Justice Shahid Karim of the Lahore High Court on Wednesday made it clear to the Punjab government that the promulgation of a new ordinance would have no effect on the stay orders against the Ravi Riverfront Urban Development Project (RRUDP).

The judge stated this rejecting an assertion of Advocate General of Punjab Ahmad Awais that since Ravi Urban Authority (amendment) Ordinance 2021 had been issued to cover legal infirmities hence the stay orders granted by the court and the petitions against the project stood infructuous. Justice Karim expressed his displeasure and clarified that the stay orders of court were still in field and intact and no acquisition proceedings shall continue. The court further clarified if the government wanted to challenge the stay orders it could file an appeal before the Supreme Court but by issuance of ordinance through executive instrument the stay orders of the court could not be nullified. The judge extended the stay orders granted to the petitioners and farmers and observed that the government was responsible for delaying the proceedings. The case was adjourned till Nov 2 for further arguments. Earlier, Advocate Sheraz Zaka on behalf of the petitioners argued that if the project was bereft of environmental impact assessment then how the project could be presumed of public purpose. He said the project would deprive the farmers of their precious land and such deprivation was an infringement of fundamental rights. In this case, the judge had stayed the process of land acquisition for the project for not meeting the legal requirements and environmental laws.