SC suspends LHC’s order of scrapping Ravi riverfront project

SC suspends LHC’s order of scrapping Ravi riverfront project

Islamabad (Web Desk): The Supreme Court (SC) on Monday suspended the Lahore High Court’s (LHC) decision of declaring Ravi Riverfront Urban Development Project (RRUDP) as illegal.

According to details, a bench of the apex court, allowed the Punjab government to resume construction work on the project and issued notices to respondents to file their response to the Punjab government’s appeal through which it challenged the LHC order.

In its ruling, the court remarked that the government may continue work on lands whose owners have been paid compensation.

The SC bench further said it would determine whether an intra-court appeal could be filed against the LHC order or not and if so, it would send the case back to the high court for rehearing.

On January 25, the LHC declared the Development Project (RRUDP) as null and void.

Announcing the reserve verdict, the court declared the Section 4 of the Ravi Urban Development Authority (amendment) Ordinance 2021 unlawful and unconstitutional.

In the decision, Justice Shahid Karim of the LHC ruled that the schemes without a master plan are unlawful.

“The agricultural land could only be acquired by following the relevant law, the court ruled, adding that in this case, the 1894 law was violated.

The court said that master plan of the RUDA was prepared without consulting the local administration.

Earlier, the court the stopped the Ravi Urban Development Authority (RUDA) from acquiring more land for its flagship project till further orders as farmers challenged the Land Act of 1894.

The LHC remarked that since RRUDP's master plan is the basic document, all the schemes should be under the master plan.

Meanwhile, the court directed the authority to return the money it had acquired from the government within two months.

The petitions, filed by advocates Sheraz Zaka, Ahmad Rafay Alam and others on behalf of the farmers, challenged the mode and manner of the land acquisition proceedings undertaken by the Ravi Urban Development Authority (RUDA) for RRUDP.