SC HEARS PETITION CHALLENGING FATA’S MERGER WITH KP

Hand over Askari Park to KMC, SC orders

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Karachi: The Supreme Court (SC) on Monday ordered the authorities to transfer management of Ascari Amusement Park to Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) within two weeks.

A two-member SC bench, comprising Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed and Justice Qazi Mohammad Amin, issued the ruling while hearing a case related to the Askari Park at the top court’s Karachi Registry.

The apex court directed the KMC administrator to take control of the Askari Park and open it for people. There should be no entry fee at the park, ruled the court. The chief justice directed the KMC to return the existing swings to the current management and install new ones. The court also directed razing all the shops on the park’s land.

The legal adviser of the Pakistan Army’s Fifth Army and the chief executive of Karachi, Murtaza Wahab, appeared in court to hear the case.

At the outset of today’s hearing, Murtaza Wahab told the court that Askari Park was given to the army under an agreement in 2005.

“The agreement was for a period of 99 years,” added the defence counsel.

Justice Qazi Mohammad Amin told the defence counsel: “The park had been handed over to you [army] so that no one else could occupy it.”

“We are ordering you to return the land to its owner,” said the judge.

How 38 shops and a marriage hall were constructed on the park’s land, asked the judge. The bench also raised questions over the quality of swings at the park.

The defense lawyer told the court that they had nothing to do with the shops on the park land.

The Supreme Court ordered the transfer of Ascari Amusement Park to KMC within two weeks and instructed the demolition of shops and marriage halls established on this land.

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