PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court (PHC) on Tuesday extended the stay on handing over of settlement records to the district administrations in Chitral till July 27.
The court issued the direction while taking up a petition challenging certain aspects of the ongoing land settlement process in Chitral.
The case was fixed before a bench of the PHC, comprising Justice Lal Jaan Khattak and Justice Sahibzada Asadullah.
The provincial government was represented by Advocate General Shumail Butt and the federal government by Additional Attorney General Amir Javed. The two contended that as a result of injunctive relief being issued the settelment process in literally half a division of a province had come to a halt and prayed that the same be vacated.
They also argued that the petition was hit by laches as the impugned notification had been issued in 1975.
Barrister Asad-ul-Mulk, representing the petitioners from Chitral, rebutted saying the injunctive relief issued by the high court prevented land settlement from concluding, it did not prevent it from progressing.
And since there were questions of constitutional importance involved propietary demanded that the injunctive relief be extended otherwise the petition would be rendered infructuous.
It was also contended on behalf of the petitioners that while the impugned Notification was issued in 1975, it was being enforced for the first time now.
Thus cause of action accrued to the petitioners with the commencement of the land settlement process as prior to that the confiscatory intent of the Government had not revealed itself.
At the conclusion of the hearing, the high court reproached the federal and provincial governments for not submitting its comments despite the lapse of three years and extended the injunction already granted till July 27, 2021. The advocate general and the additional attorney general have been directed to argue the case.