LAHORE –  Justice Shahid Karim of the Lahore High Court has stayed the process of land acquisition in the Orange Line project and referred the petition of Kapoorthalla  and others to the chief justice to constitute a full bench on it.

The judge also issued notices to respondent Punjab government, Lahore Development Authority and 11 others. Amjad Hassan Bhatti and others have filed the petition through Advocate Azhar Siddique and pleaded the court to stop acquisition of their properties for being unlawful and in violation of fundamental rights protected in the Constitution.

 The petitioners submitted that the government was forcing citizens to acquire land for the train project and demolishing precious properties. The government started the project just for cheap publicity and ignoring all important sectors, they submitted. They said that the citizens of the country were living a vulnerable life.

They said major portion of old heritage including General Post Office (GPO) Lahore and some part of Shalimar Garden and Chouburji were being damaged to accommodate the metro train project. They said requirements for land acquisition were not fulfilled while acquiring the land from the citizens.

The petitioners pointed out that the authorities had failed to understand public interest as provision to health facility was more important and guaranteed than construction of so called Orange Line Metro Train Project.

The petitioners requested the court to set aside section 4, 5, 5-A, 17 of Land Acquisition Act, 1894 for being in violation to many provisions of the Constitution. They further requested that all process of acquisition, transfer of any fund or any action for establishment of the project be suspended and the respondents be restrained from taking any further steps in pursuance of land acquisition.

 Justice Shahid Karim would take up the petition.