LAHORE - Punjab Governor Sardar Latif Khan Khosa has issued a contempt notice to the Lahore Development Authority (LDA) director general in correlation to his department’s alleged lackadaisical and lacklustre response as well as criminal negligence towards the matter of developing a public park in Johar Town as per the master plan approved in 1982.

The LDA top boss has been accused of “impeding, obstructing and undermining” the proceedings of the Appellate Court of the governor in this case. 

A notice for appearance in person before the governor on December 11, 2013 at 11:30 am has been issued asking him to show cause as to why action should not be taken him “as envisaged under section 12 and 16 of the Punjab Office of Ombudsman Act, 1997.

The governor has initiated action against LDA DG on the petition of one, Syed Amjad Ali of Johar Town and other residents who had agitated their grievance before him pleading that authority had failed to undertake development of a public park in flagrant disregard of the fact that provisioning of the same had been set forth under the master plan at the specified location in Block E/2 and Blok-G of Johar Town. 

The LDA official has been further asked to tender a detailed explanation as to why he may not be proceeded against for contempt to be punished with imposition of forfeiture of salary for as many months as is determined as a cost to be burned on him by the governor.

He has also been accused of breaching the provisions of Article 5 (2) of the constitution by not developing the park in the said locality as per orders of the Lahore High Court and the Supreme Court of Pakistan despite passage of three years. 

On the other hand, the DG LDA has maintained that Punjab governor is not bestowed with any of such powers under section 32 of the Punjab Office of the Ombudsman Act, 1997 to have the pleasure to exercise the powers envisaged as an appellate authority on the basis of the direct representation as such.

“We, in the LDA, have always great regard and respect to comply with the orders of the courts and we are in the process of same as required under the law”, the official has further stated through his law officer.

Also, the Parks and Agriculture Authority (PHA) has shifted the entire onus of disobedience and non-compliance of court orders against the LDA. “The PHA is awaiting the LDA to meet the formality of handing over possession of the land in question and provision of required funds to take development work of the park”, it has maintained. 

The governor has noted that no substantial and tangible action has been taken in pursuant to the directions of the High Court’s order dated 07.07.2009 which attained finality after the civil petition of 2009 was disposed of by the Supreme Court on 14th July 2009.

“Following the unambiguous orders of the High Court as well as the Apex Court, I fail to understand why it is taking that long to proceed in the matter of development of a park which is a concern of a public interest as well as welfare of the residents of Johar Town”, the governor has observed in the show cause notice served on the LDA head through his Principal Secretary.