Handing over of Botanical garden to private organization: PHC directs NAB to conduct inquiry

Humayun Khan

PESHAWAR: The divisional bench comprising of Chief Justice Peshawar High Court Justice Qaiser Rashid Khan and Justice Ijaz Sabi has cancelled lease of Botanical Garden of University of Peshawar at Azakhail, granted to private organization by District Nazim Nowshera while directed National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to conducted inquiry in this regard, on Wednesday.
The Peshawar High Court nominated Deputy Prosecutor General NAB Muhammad Ali as Focal Person in the case while directed Deputy Commissioner and District Police Officer Nowshera to stop constructions on the site.
During hearing Chief Justice Qaiser Rashid remarked that a botanical garden was established for international standard’s research but it was destroyed due to politicization and added that under which law District Nazim Nowshera cancelled the lease of University of Peshawar and granted to private organization.
Additional Advocate General Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Syed Sikandar Shah, Director Botanical Garden Dr. Asad and Assistant Registrar Legal Muhammad Riaz appeared before PHC while informed that in 2005 provincial government had provided 86 acre land for international standard of research in field of botany at University of Peshawar and it was continued till 2016 but district administration cancelled the lease and granted to Air Foundation which had destroyed the garden due to negligence.
The officials further informed that handing over of Botanical garden to Air Foundation had deprived from quality standard research while chief Justice remarked that according to law District Nazim had cancelled the lease and added that these people does not fulfill their responsibilities neither allows other to perform their duties.
Moreover, Director Botanical Garden Dr. Asad informed that Academic Block was constructed in the garden at the cost of Rs,76 million which damaged due to lack maintenance and added that establishment of botanical garden is obligatory under international conventions.
The chief justice observed that developed nations are protecting their assets but unfortunately our national treasures are destroying due to politicization for happiness of one person sometimes.
Additional Advocate General Syed Sikandar Shah argued that varsity’s administration did not maintaining the botanical garden that’s why district administration has hand over it to Air Foundation for establishment of quality institute which is not illegal because it is the property of district administration.
The divisional bench directed NAB to conduct inquiry and produce facts and figures before court as a report while Deputy Prosecutor General was appointed as focal person in the case.
Peshawar High Court also directed district administration to cooperate with NAB officials in the inquiry and added to stop constructions in the Botanical Garden while in case of failure regarding implementation of court’s order then charges shall be framed against competent officer.