MINGORA (SWAT): Peshawar High Court (PHC)’s Mingora bench (Darul Qaza) has dismissed an appeal filed by Gujjar tribe against their eviction from Reshun Gol pasture. The court asked the petitioners to approach the civil court in Upper Chitral afresh.
Rahimullah Chitrali Advocate (for private respondents), Muhammad Ikram Khan (for petitioners) and Razauddin Khan, additional attorney general, appeared before the bench, consisting of Justice Waqar Ahmad.
The case related to a dispute between residents of Raghain and the residents of Reshun Gol over a pasture. A local committee had decided that no one from the Gujjar tribe should be allowed to graze their goats in the pasture.
Later, the tehsildar and the assistant commissioner Mastuj at Booni had endorsed the decision against which the petition was filed.
Dismissing the appeal as non-maintainable, the high court clarified that powers of regulating grazing rights may be exercised by the competent officers of the local administration of Chitral in respect of state land.
However, they cannot exercise adjudicatory and judicial functions under Regulation III of 1974 which now stands repealed.
The court ruled that Regulation 111 of 1974 had been issued by the president of Pakistan under clause 4 of Article 247 of the Constitution.
Under this law, the provincial government had on August 7, 1974, appointed the deputy commissioner and assistant commissioners in Chitral to decide disputes specified in paragraph b, c, d of Para 3 of Section III of 1974.
“But under the 25th amendment to the Constitution in 2018, Article 247 was omitted from the statute without providing for any savings,” the PHC explained.
“Therefore, all regulations issued under the Article 247 by the president and the governor stood repealed. It has already been so held by the Supreme Court of Pakistan,” the high court added.