ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Friday declared Lahore High Court (LHC) verdict regarding Orange Line Metro Train Project null and void, allowing the Punjab government to continue the project with some conditions.
The verdict was announced by a five-member larger bench of the Supreme Court comprising Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed, Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan, Justice Maqbool Baqar, Justice Ijaz-ul-Ahsan and Justice Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel.
The Punjab government and Punjab Mass Transit Authority had filed petitions in the Supreme Court against the LHC verdict. Later the Supreme Court had reserved its judgement on the issue in April 2017.
The Lahore High Court in its decision on a petition filed Civil Society Activist Kamil Khan Mumtaz announced on August 19, 2016 had ordered the provincial government to suspend the work on $1.6 billion Orange Line Metro Line Project near 11 Lahore’s heritage sites which included Shalamar Gardens, Chauburji, Gulabi Bagh, Aiwan-i-Auqaf, General Post Office (GPO), Buddhu ka Awa, Lakshmi Building, Zebunnisa’s Tomb, St Andrews Presbyterian Church, Supreme Court’s Lahore Registry building and Baba Mauj Darya Bukhari’s Shrine.
The LHC in its verdict had ordered the Punjab government to stop construction work within a distance of 200ft from heritage sites.
The High had also declared all no-objection certificates (NOCs) issued by the archaeology department null and void.