The Islamabad High Court (IHC) declared Wednesday the construction of Navy Golf Course in the Margalla Hills National Park illegal and ordered the defence ministry to inquire into the illegal construction of the gold course.

In a detailed 108-page verdict, the IHC also directed the defence secretary to conduct a forensic audit to assess the damage to the national exchequer.

The court also rejected the claim of the Remount, Veterinary and Farms Directorate of Pakistan Army about the ownership of 8068 acres of land in the national park.

The lease agreement of the Remount, Veterinary and Farms Directorate of Pakistan Army with Monal Restaurant was also declared illegal by the court.

IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah wrote and signed the verdict before leaving for the Eid holidays, and it was released on Wednesday (today).

The report of the Islamabad Environmental Commission was also included in the 108-page verdict.

“The state and the government officials are bound to protect the Margalla Hills,” the court said.

“The state has the responsibility to take action against those who violate the fundamental rights of the people,” it added. “Ironically, the state institutions are also involved in the desecration of the notified protected area of the Margalla Hills,” it stated.

“The Pakistan Navy and the Pakistan Army took the law into their own hands and violated the enforced laws,” the court declared.

“It was an ideal case of the power of elite and undermining the rule of law,” it pointed out.

The court further said that the state had the duty to take steps to lessen damages to the Margalla Hills to prevent further destruction.

It merits a mention here that the court had earlier issued a summary judgment in the case on January 11, 2022.