ETPB land case: LHC seeks detailed report from IGP

LAHORE (APP): The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Friday adjourned hearing of a petition against the alleged occupation of Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) land by the Elite Force Training School (EFTS) till January 21 and sought a detailed report from inspector general of police (IGP) Punjab.

LHC Chief Justice Muhammad Qasim Khan passed the orders while hearing a petition filed by Muhammad Zakaria.

Inspector general of police (IGP) Punjab and other police officers appeared before the court at the start of proceedings in response to being summoned.

The court noted that the police authorities had filed a civil miscellaneous application highlighting hurdles – including pending litigation and illegal exchange of land with the ETPB – in implementation of the orders for immediate retrieval of 72 kanal land of ETPB from illegal occupation of EFTS.

The court expressed serious annoyance and questioned how another party could claim EFTS land.

To which, a law officer replied that the party had claimed to purchase a part of the EFTS land from ETPB and they had also obtained a stay order from a civil court. The law officer submitted a map of EFTS and stated that the police purchased 1612 Kanal land from ETPB.

At this, the court questioned how police could purchase the ETPB land, observing that ETPB land could not be sold as it was property of non-Muslims.

The court was apprised that the land was purchased by a deputy commandant of the EFTS during his posting. The law officer submitted that as per revenue record, the EFTS land was property of the provincial government but a small part of ETPB land was also included in it. He submitted that the police were ready to pay rent to ETPB for it.

However, the court noted that it was illegal to occupy land of any other and asked the director general Anti-Corruption about possible action.

To this, the director general Anti-Corruption Punjab told that the ETPB was a federal institution and only FIA could take action in the matter. However, he stated that action could be taken against police if it exceeded its powers, to another court query.

Subsequently, the chief justice adjourned the matter till Jan 21 and sought details of IGPs, CCPOs and EFTS commandants posted during the purchase of the EFTS land till date. The court also sought details of the deputy commandant and purchasing of EFTS land.

The court also directed petitioner’s counsel for filing reply on a civil miscellaneous application filed by police authorities about hurdles in implementation of court orders for retrieval of the ETPB land.

It is worth mentioning here that the court had on previous hearing ordered for immediate retrieval of 72 kanal land of Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) from illegal occupation of Elite Force, besides seeking an implementation report from IGP Punjab.

The petitioner had submitted that he obtained 72 kanal land of the trust on lease but the Elite Force had illegally occupied it.

He pleaded with court for retrieval of the land from Elite Force occupation.