ISLAMABAD - Turning down the plea of Wapda seeking eviction of its building from Federal Urdu University of Arts, Science and Technology Islamabad on Wednesday the Supreme Court granted a year to the university to operate in the building in the large interest of more than 5000 students of various faculties.

During 2003, the University was established at the Wapda House near Zero Point Islamabad, however, irregularities in rent payment to Wapda by the then administration of the university provided cause of action to the Authority to file a lawsuit for eviction before the Rent Controller Islamabad in 2012.

The Court of the Rent Controller issued judgment in favour of the Wapda and the same was upheld in the appellate court. The Islamabad High Court in 2016 also upheld the rent controller’s verdict. The incumbent administration of the university challenged the High Court decision before the apex court.

Representing the university, advocate Asad Hussain Ghalib requested the court to grant two years for shifting the institution campus to an allocated place.

Director General Services Wapda Khalid Hussain informed that first eviction notice to the university was issued on January 01, 2012 whereas his counsel repeatedly urged the court to ensure the university administration statement to vacate his client’s building in three months in accordance with the provisions of Rent Control Act.

Justice Gulzar Ahmed observed, “Neither the university nor the Wapda is profit making institution so it would be better for both the parties to deliberate over the issue”.

The Wapda counsel told the bench that civic body Capital Development Authority has cancelled lease of his client’s building under the pretext that the building is not being used for the specified purpose. However, he informed that civil court has granted stay order to Wapda against the CDA notice.

Responding to allegation of the Wapda counsel that university is not only defaulter in rent but also declining to vacate his client’s building intentionally, Additional Registrar of the University Shah G. Muhammad submitted that at the moment the educational institution was paying three million per month rent to the Wapda.

After hearing both the parties of the case, the bench said in its order that due to the prevailing circumstances the university is allowed to operate in the building for two years.

The court directed the university administration to complete its campus construction at its own place to shift 5000 students in a year, adding that the university is subjected to pay all the outstanding rent to the Wapda with annual increase according to contract.

Disposing of the appeal of the University, two-member bench of the Justice Gulzar Ahmad and Justice Umar Ata Bandial said in the order, “In case the university fails to pay rent, the Wapda will seek remedy in the matter from an appropriate forum”.