LAHORE - The Lahore High Court yesterday stopped the Punjab government from acquiring land of a citizen to build a station for Orange Line Metro Train.

Tahseen Shabbir, a resident of Baghbanpura, filed the petition and pointed out that the authorities concerned were acquiring his 16-marla property while Lahore Development Authority did not meet legal requirements for acquiring it.

He requested the court to stop the government from taking his property illegality. After his arguments, Justice Abid Aziz Sheikh barred the respondents from acquiring the petitioner’s land and sought their replies by Jan 18. The court also extended stay earlier granted to residents of Kapurthala House, Chauburji and Niaz Beg against the acquisition of their properties.

Meanwhile, a group of citizens had challenged the whole project before the Lahore High Court. Kamil Khan Mumtaz, IA Rehman and Neelum Hussain are among the petitioners.

They stated that the Rs365 billion project of the metro train was not approved by the Punjab Assembly. They said the project put heritage of the Lahore city on stake as 26 historical and protected monuments including Shamilar Garden, General Post Office, Supreme Court-Lahore registry, Lahore High Court and Chauburji were going to lose their significance.

They further said the government instead of utilizing funds allocated for other sectors like education and health using it for the project of metro train.

They pointed out that Unesco also opposed the project for being a serious threat to environment and other reasons.

Child’s kidnappers lose appeal: Five convicts yesterday lost their appeals before the Lahore High Court when a prosecutor informed the judges that police arrested them red-handed and recovered the kidnapped child along with the ransom amount paid to them for his release.

Sultan, Waqar Ahmad, Akhtar, Shahbaz and Ghulam Mohayyuddin filed appeals before the court against their sentences. In 2010, an anti-terrorism Court awarded them life-imprisonment for kidnapping a 20 years old boy Muhammad Khalid from Gujranwala district.

The convicts, in their appeals, argued that the trial court convicted them despite the fact that the evidences lacked. They said they did not kidnap the son of the complainant. The prosecution also could not produce any eye-witness before the court, they said. They said the decision of the trial court was illegal and requested the court to set aside it.

However, Gujranwala district Prosecutor Tariq Javed to the court that police arrested them with the kidnapped child and amount Rs 10, 00,000 paid to them as ransom. He said, therefore, they did not deserve acquittal and their appeals should be set aside.

After hearing both sides, the bench dismissed appeals.