The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Friday issued a stay order against new membership of the Navy Sailing Club and asked the naval authorities to file replies till Aug 19.
IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah issued the restraining order while hearing a petition seeking contempt of court proceedings against Capital Development Authority (CDA) Chairman Amir Ali Ahmed, Cabinet Division Secretary Ahmed Nawaz Sukhera and Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi for not complying with the directive of sealing the club issued earlier by the court.
Petitioner Zeenat Saleem told the court that neither the CDA nor the naval authorities had implemented the order for sealing the club. However, Ashtar Ausaf Ali, the counsel for the chief of naval staff, insisted that pursuant to the court’s directive, the club had been sealed.
The court expressed confidence in the undertaking given by the lawyer and asked him to ensure that no activity took place at the sealed premises.
Earlier, Chief Justice Minallah had ordered sealing of the club: “Prima facie, the occupation of the land and construction of building thereon are illegal and in violation of the enforced laws. It is, therefore, ordered that till the next date fixed the federal government, through the secretary cabinet, and the chairman, Capital Development Authority, shall seal the premises,” the order said.
The court directed the Cabinet Division secretary to place the matter before the federal cabinet at its next meeting for consideration because the enforced laws were not being implemented and that enforcement had been confined to common citizens.
The petitioner contended that despite the court’s orders, the CDA was reluctant to seal the premises.
According to the petition, the club is being run as usual and information desk of the club is still distributing membership forms among visitors as per normal routine.
It said that the CDA was supposed to seal the premises with its own locks and deploying the staff for compliance with the court order.
However, “no such action of sealing has been undertaken by CDA and the management of PN Sailing Club is continuing with its business affairs as a routine matter. This is a classic example of discriminatory application of law by CDA,” the petition claimed.
It requested the court to initiate contempt of court proceedings against the above-mentioned authorities and direct the respondents to comply with the court order in letter and spirit.