The Lahore High Court on Tuesday declared the demolition of Khokhar Palace in Lahore illegal and banned the authorities from further demolition of the palace, even further civil court orders which had already been postponed in the case. Channel according to HD TV
The court also ordered the district administration to vacate the palace immediately.
At the same time, however, the court also barred the Khokhar brothers from rebuilding the disputed land.
When Chief Justice Muhammad Qasim Khan inquired under what law the action was taken, the government’s counsel replied that the land taken back belonged to the state.
Later, when the Khokhar brothers’ lawyer presented the restraining order issued by the civil court to the court, the judge asked why the order was not brought to the notice of the court.
He asked the government lawyer why the authorities were in the crowd when the stay order was already in place.
The Lahore Development Authority (LDA) on Sunday (January 24th) carried out a major operation to reclaim 38 kanals of government land at Khokhar Palace in Johar Town, in which three houses and several shops were demolished.
The Khokhar brothers, the PML-N leaders, however, claimed that the government’s action was politically motivated as the Lahore High Court (LHC) had issued a restraining order on the matter.
But the district administration, armed with heavy machinery and a large number of police personnel, reached Khokhar Palace on Sunday morning, the residence of PML-N MPA Afzal Khokhar and Saif al-Muluk Khokhar.
They placed containers and cordoned off all the roads leading to the place.
The district administration has claimed that they have reclaimed land worth Rs 1.25 billion and the operation was carried out after receiving several notices and the decision of Collector Ashtimal.
Heavy machinery demolished 13 shops and several temporary huts.
LDA machinery bulldozed the back gate and wall of Khokhar Palace and also demolished the land adjacent to Safe Market, which according to officials was illegal and was built on government land.
Authorities also demolished the back of a house belonging to Saif al-Muluk’s nephew. They also brought down the back of Muhammad Akmal Khokhar’s house.
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