LPINDI - Lahore High Court (LHC) Rawalpindi Bench has halted Pakistan Railways (PR) from auctioning a piece of land leased out for the construction of a degree college for women.
LHC Justice Tariq Shamim on Wednesday directed the department to submit its comments till June 8 in this regard.
While admitting the petition of former federal minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, the court directed the Railways authorities not to auction the land till the final disposal of the petition challenging the auction.
The law officer of Pakistan Railways said in the court that the lease of the land was based on a letter issued by divisional superintendent and the department would cancel the letter. The lawyer of the petitioner, however, said the lease was granted by the Railways Board in a meeting of its executive body held in Lahore 2007.
Referring to Pakistan Railways, its Director Lands and Ministry of Housing and Works as respondents, former MNA through his legal counsel Muhammad Ilyas Sheikh has challenged the decision of executive committee of Railway Board to auction the piece of land near old Railway Police Station in Sadr.
In his petition, Sheikh Rashid said that the land measuring 8.9 Kanals was leased out to provincial education department in 2007 for the construction of Government Degree College for women to meet the demand of the area people. The Railway Board duly approved the leased for 99 years and PWD was assigned to construct the building of the college and in this regard Rs 20 million was also set aside as special grant by then Prime Minister.
According to the lease agreement education department was to pay Rs 1000 to the Railways every year and 25 percent quota of admission in the college would be given to the daughters of the Railway employees. It was on April 24 that Pakistan Railways advertised in newspapers to auction the said land and asked for bids on May 6. The petitioner said the leased had neither been challenged nor cancelled and in the presence of a lawful lease how the department could auction the land.
Former minister said a portion of college building had already been constructed but no further work could take place after the change of government last year. He has prayed to the court to stop the department from auctioning the land and let the college be construct to facilitate the area residents.
Meanwhile, Justice Imtiaz Rasheed Siddiqi decided to take up the petitions of Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) Rawalpindi-Islamabad Chapter against Ministry of health and National Institute of Health (NIH) and an application of the health ministry on May 12.
The PMA had moved a contempt of court petition against the ministry for procuring different kinds of vaccines with out properly advertising the demand despite the fact that they had assured the court to follow the procurement rules while buying the vaccines. The ministry had moved an application seeking transfer of the case to the Islamabad High Court as the LHC lacked the jurisdiction to decide the matter.