ISLAMABAD - President Dr Arif Alvi while overruling Wafaqi Mohtasib’s decision in a 25-year-old case, directed the National Highways Authority (NHA) to award compensation to the complainants in lieu of the land purchased by it in accordance with the Compensation Award announced by NHA in 1997, which remained uncontested and unimplemented since then. He reprimanded NHA for causing unnecessary delay to implement the award announced 25 years ago, and directed it to pay the due amount to the citizens within 45-days of the order. The president pointed out that it was not a matter of measurement and assessment of land or any other nitty-gritty, but implementation and payment of the awarded compensation as per the orders of NHA in 1997, President Secretariat Press Wing said in a press release on Sunday.

He highlighted that this aspect was not factored in by the Mohtasib while passing the impugned orders, and held that since the award of 1997 had not been challenged by either party, therefore, it attained finality and NHA was bound to pay the assessed amount as per law. The Wafaqi Mohtasib in its decision had declined to intervene and provide relief to the complainant, saying that the matter required site visit, measurement of land and detailed examination of both documentary and oral evidence, and its assessment in the light of Qanoon-e-Shahadat Order for which the proper forum was a court of competent jurisdiction and not the office of the Wafaqi Mohtasib. As per details, NHA had acquired a land of 11-Kanal and 10-Marlas from three citizens for the construction of road (N-5). NHA had announced an award for 8-shops in 1994 which was accepted by the complainants under protest pending the award for remaining 35-shops.

Afterwards, measurement of the remaining shops was done, the assessment was made by NHA, and an award was announced on 17 December 1997 but remained unimplemented.

Feeling aggrieved, the complainants approached the Wafaqi Mohtasib in 2021 to seek compensation for the remaining shops, but the Mohtasib disposed of the matter without providing any relief.

Subsequently, the complainants filed a representation with the president against the decision of the Mohtasib. The president overruled the decision and directed NHA to work out the balance compensation and pay the amount as per the award within 45-days.