PESHAWAR: Chitral land settlement case has been transferred by the Chief Justice of the Peshawar High Court from Darul Qaza Swat to the principal seat of the Peshawar High Court.
The case concerns the manner in which land settlement has been carried out in the districts of Upper and Lower Chitral, resulting in over 97% of the land mass of the districts being entered in the name of the provincial government.
The petitioners were represented by Barrister Asad-ul-Mulk who had filed the transfer application contending that thegovernment of Balochistan under the garb of carrying out land settlement was doing something similar in Balochistan until the full court of the Balochistan High Court intervened and restrained the Balochistan government and the Peshawar High Court must do the same.
It was contended on behalf of the petitioners that what was taking place in the districts of Chitral was not land settlement, rather land expropriation. And the aggrieved people had no option left but to petition the Chief Justice of the Province.
Chief Justice Qaisar Rasheed read the grounds agitated in the transfer application which included a reference to the recent decision of the Chief Justice of the Balochistan High Court in Sher Zaman and others versus the government of Balochistan and others to constitute a five-member bench to hear a similar case. In the said case, the Balochistan High Court struck a fatal blow to the Government of Balochistan which was similarly intent on entering the vast majority of lands in the government’s favor, denying land owners the title of lands they have owned and used for generations.