Staying the auction of Lahore’s Walton airport property was denied. The Lahore High Court has refused to suspend the auction and transfer of commercial land at the old Walton airport to construct a business area (LCBDDA).
Muhammad Azam filed a suit challenging the Punjab government’s “illegal” takeover of the Civil Aviation Authority’s (CAA) former Walton airport land.
The petitioner’s lawyer, Waqar A. Sheikh, said his client was a respectable person who had acquired various commercial property plots under the Lahore Central Business District Development Authority Act, 2021. He claimed that an application to the LCBDDA chief executive officer for information regarding the project was dismissed without response.
It was in contradiction to previous superior court judgments on identical matters. He asserted that the respondents had not set any ground rules. The project was carried out without the appropriate “no objection certificate” from the Environmental Protection Agency hierarchy.
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Justice Jawad Hassan served the respondents on the main petition with notices for Sept. 14 and directed a law officer to guarantee their submission. The judge further requested that all top officers of the relevant departments be present at the next hearing. However, the judge denied the petitioner’s civil miscellaneous plea to halt the auction and transfer of the disputed lands. The request to postpone the auction of the Walton airport land in Lahore was declined.
On Tuesday, Justice Hassan stated that unless there is a clear violation or deviation from the law, any court intrusion will severely impede the LCBDDA or CAA’s efforts to promote commerce and trade for the public.
Although the court is competent to evaluate administrative activities for violations of the law and the Constitution, he notes that the principles of judicial restraint govern this power.
“While exercising constitutional jurisdiction, the court used the power of judicial review with judicial restraint to interfere in such matters within the contemplation of judicial review,” Justice Hassan adds.
The petitioner has failed to bring forth a prima facie basis for the grant of interim relief. Hence the stay application is denied. The request to halt the auction of the Walton airport land in Lahore was dismissed.
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