SC rejects Monal Restaurant’s request to be given a stay order & allowed to reopen
ISLAMABAD ( Web News )
The Supreme court of Pakistan rejected on Thursday Monal Restaurant’s request to be given a stay order and allowed to reopen, stating that it will give a concrete order only after a detailed decision of the Islamabad High Court (IHC).
However, the apex court observed that an appropriate order will be issued if a detailed decision is not reached within two weeks.
Three member bench of the apex court headed by Justice Ijazul Ahsan and comprising Justice Munib Akhtar and Justice Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi heard the case.
The counsel representing the restaurant, Makhdoom Ali Khan Advocate, stated that the IHC’s short order was also without a signature.
At this, Islamabad Wildlife Management Board (IWMB) Chairperson Rina Saeed Khan stated that the board was in possession of a written order of the IHC.
Justice Muneeb Akhtar reprimanded the chairman for interfering during the proceedings, while the counsel for Monal Restaurant argued that an unsigned order was subject to change.
The counsel further argued that, “The wildlife board was not a party to the case. How can it take possession without a written order being issued?”
The counsel further argued that there were currently 13 restaurants, besides Monal, that were functional within the Margalla Hills National Park. The IHC ordered to close Monal down and ordered an inquiry against the others.
During the hearing, Justice Ijazul Ahsan accepted the IWMB’s request to be a party to the case while stating that the Ministry of Defence’s request to become a party at present cannot be decided upon.
With regard to the petition submitted by the Ministry of Defense, the Supreme Court stated that the issue will remain pending till the IHC’s detailed decision.
Additional Attorney General (AAG) Qasim Wadud argued that the land Monal was operating upon belonged to the federal government, and it has been allotted to Veterinary Farms, that come under the jurisdiction of the General Headquarters (GHQ).
“The high court ruled that the national park’s land cannot be given to veterinary farms,” Qasim Wadud said.
Justice Muneeb Akhtar stated that it would be appropriate for the Ministry of Defense to present a clear position through an intra-court appeal. The court adjourned the hearing for two weeks.