The top court has issued notice to Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leader Nawaz Sharif in a suo motu matter related to the allotment of 1800 kanals Auqaf land around Pakpattan shrine to an individual in 1985 in violation of a high court order.
The three judge bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar has also issued public notice to 8,200 individuals who purchased hundreds of allotted kanals land to Dewan Moudood Masud by Nawaz Sharif, who was then serving as the Punjab Chief Minister.
Former chief justice Nasirul Mulk while hearing matter related to land dispute had taken suo motu notice over the illegal allotment of Shrine land to the individuals in 1985 in violation of LHC order. Courtroom No 1 atmosphere became tense when CJP Nisar and senior lawyer Iftikhar exchanged harsh words against each other.
When the CJP gave indication to give notice to all the owners of this illegal allotted land, senior lawyer Gilani wondered how the SC can pass such order in the matter which is very old one.
However, the CJP said that “they can as they are the custodian of Constitution”. But Gilani remarked that “people of Pakistan are the custodian of constitution and not the judges”. Upon this, the CJP asked him to lower down his tone during arguments. Advocate Gillani responded he would respond in the same tone used by him (CJP).
Later, he asked the chief justice not to fix his cases before his bench. But the CJP insisted that he will fix his matters before his bench as he may withdraw from cases. Later, Attorney General for Pakistan Anwar Mansoor Khan came on rostrum to cool down Gilani. The hearing of case is adjourned for one month.
The bench on August 6 had directed the Punjab Revenue Department to respond as to what was the property originally owned by Dewan; how much of the property was sold/alienated at different points of time; what property is left Dewan’s name and details of transferee(s) of the property on account of transactions by Dewan.
The property under litigation belonged to Dewan Ghulam Qutub-ud-Din, the present Dewan named Moudood Masud is in his lineage as one of the successors. So Revenue Department has set out property of Dewan Ghulam Qutab-ud-Din as a reference point for addressing directions of the top court.
It is submitted by the Punjab government that land measuring 36,230 Kanal, 17 Marla, 5 Sarsai in seven revenue estates was owned by Dewan Ghulam Qutub-ud-Din as per settlement record of 1957-58. Thereafter, land measuring 21,837 Kanal, 5 Marla was transferred in favour of Federal Land Commission. Remaining land measuring 14393 Kanal, 12 Marla, 5 Sarsai rested with Dewan Ghulam Qutub-ud-Din.
It is further submitted that no property is existent in the name of Dewan Ghulam Qutub-ud-Din as per Revenue Record. Further his legal heirs are holding only 360 Kanal, 5 Marla of land in their name that too is pledged with Bank of Punjab for different considerations.
While issuing notices to Nawaz Sharif, who was then chief minister of Punjab, and all the purchasers, the top court adjourned the hearing.
The Express Tribune