Islamabad - The Supreme Court on Monday directed chairman Capital Development Authority (CDA) to provide names of the officials who violated the apex court’s order on crushing of stones in Margalla Hills National Park.

The court directed Chairman CDA Maroof Afzal Khan to take strict action against the officials responsible for allowing such activities in the Margalla Hills National Park and also directed him to ascertain the names of those people and submit a detailed report on March 18.

A three-member bench of the apex court headed by Justice Jawwad S Khawaja heard a petition filed by Israr Ahmed and others, seeking initiation of contempt of court proceeding against CDA chairman and others for violating the court’s order as well as CDA laws.

“It is a matter of concerns for us that the important national asset is not being preserved by the authorities concerned despite the fact that the court had strictly restrained the CDA from carrying out any prohibited activity in the National Park,” Justice Jawwad remarked.

“It’s not only violation of our order but also violation of law as Section 21 (1) of the Islamabad Wildlife Protection and Conservation Ordinance 1979 clearly prohibits any kind of such activity in the National Park, Margalla Hills,” the judge said. He asked the CDA chairman to take action against the officials for non-compliance with the SC order and the law.

A three-member bench of the Supreme Court headed by ex-CJP Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry in a suo moto case pertaining to Margalla Tunnel on October 25, 2013 had restrained the CDA and National Highway Authority from undertaking work on the construction of tunnel in the Margalla Hills en route to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The CDA was also directed not to grant license of crushing stones for the Margalla Hills.

The court had directed the CDA if there was any such activity, it should be stopped at the earliest.

The petitioner Israr Ahmed and others through Advocate Nayyab Hassan Gardezi moved the apex court, complaining instead of acting upon the apex court’s order in letter and spirit the respondents, including the chairman CDA, joined hands with each other allowed director environment CDA, and Jawad Saboor, managing director FACTO, for excavation of lime stone/crushing of stone, which is almost 4,000 tons per day by cutting the forest, resulting into the destruction of the national park being preserved by the government under the Protection, Preservation and Management Ordinance, 1979.

They further informed the court that as a result the features, rock, soil, fauna and flora of the park are being destroyed due to the process of making cement by the FACTO Cement Factory, while dangerous diseases like tuberculosis, cancer, asthma and skin allergy cropped up among the people of the vicinity.

The petitioner had prayed the apex court to initiate contempt of court proceedings against the respondents including CDA Chairman, Chief Commissioner ICT Zulfiqar Haider Khan, Director Environment CDA, Jawad Saboor, managing director FACTO, proprietor FACTO Cements and inspector general of Islamabad police.

On Monday, Chairman CDA Maroof Afzal appeared before the court and assured the court that the order of the apex court would be implemented in letter and spirit. During the hearing Hafiz SA Rehman, representing CDA, informed that the permission for crushing stone in the Margalla Hills was granted by the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT).

At this Justice Jawwad observed as to why the ICT has granted such an illegal permission. “When the court had restrained any kind of activity in the National Park then how can such activity be allowed which is being prohibited even by the law as well,” Justice Jawwad observed.

The court rejected the counsel’s request for issuing notice to ICT. “We have to abide by the law. Tell us if ICT is above the law?” the judge asked Rehman.