SC orders closure of Monal, other restaurants in Margalla Hills

The Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered the closure of all restaurants, including Monal, within Islamabad's National Park.

A three-member bench, led by Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa, heard petitions from the Monal Restaurant administration and the Wildlife Department.

The court instructed the Capital Development Authority (CDA) to provide original records concerning the 8,600 acres of parkland. The additional attorney general said that the Military Estate Office claims ownership of the land. However, Chief Justice Isa asserted that the land belonged to the government of Pakistan and questioned whether it was owned by the CDA or another entity.

During the hearing, the Supreme Court rejected the CDA's report and summoned the CDA chairman. Chief Justice Isa criticized the inclusion of unrelated constructions in the CDA report and questioned the CDA's integrity. In response to a court query, the CDA chairman revealed that Margalla Hills experienced 21 fires this season.

The Supreme Court directed that all restaurants, including Monal, must relocate within three months to ensure the protection of the National Park. The court also said that these restaurants should be preferred while leasing lands outside the park.

The court nullified all leases granted to restaurants within the park and ordered the cessation of commercial activities in the National Park. 

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