Orange Line project: Supreme Court approves govt petition for hearing
Lahore High Court (LHC) in a landmark judgment in August had restrained the construction of Orange Line train project within 200 feet distance of the historical sites in Lahore.
The apex court has ordered constitution of a five judges larger bench to hear the case. The court, however, rejected the government plea for setting aside the Lahore High Court verdict on the project.
The bench observed that the court will review the facts and legal aspects of the case.
A larger bench will start hearing of the case from October 10.
A division bench of the Lahore High Court comprising Justice Abid Aziz Shaikh and Justice Shahid Karim in the judgment also declared all ‘No Objection Certificates (NOCs) issued by the Archeology Department as void.
The court in its verdict said that a committee, comprised of world-renowned experts, should be formed and the project should be completed within the light of the recommendations of the report of the experts and recommendations of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
The court also outlawed the construction of the train project at 11 sites including Shalimar Gardens, Choburji, Gulabi Bagh, Aiwan-e-Auqaaf, GPO Building, Baddhu Ka Awa, Dai Anga Mosque, Lahore Registry of the Supreme Court of Pakistan and Lahore High Court.
The verdict stated that the recommendations of the advisory committee should be followed in order to stop the pollution.
The people from various walks of life including the civil society groups had filed petitions pleading to the court that historical sites in the provincial capital may be harmed due to the construction of the train project that will also increase pollution in Lahore.
The petitioners had also stated that the provincial archaeology department has issued NOCs for the construction of the train project without following proper legal procedures.