The Supreme Court (SC) on Monday ordered relevant authorities to hand over charge of the Askari Amusement Park to the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) within two weeks.
A two-member SC bench, comprising Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed and Justice Qazi Mohammad Amin, issued the ruling while hearing a case related to the Askari Park at the top court’s Karachi Registry.
The apex court directed the KMC administrator to take control of the Askari Park and open it for people. There should be no entry fee at the park, ruled the court.
The chief justice directed the KMC to return the existing swings to the current management and install new ones. The court also directed razing all the shops on the park's land.
Counsel of Corps V of the Pakistan Army and Karachi Administrator Murtaza Wahab appeared before the court in the case.
At the outset of today’s hearing, Murtaza Wahab told the court that Askari Park was given to the army under an agreement in 2005.
"The agreement was for a period of 99 years," added the defence counsel.
Justice Qazi Mohammad Amin told the defence counsel: “The park had been handed over to you [army] so that no one else could occupy it.”
“We are ordering you to return the land to its owner,” said the judge.
How 38 shops and a marriage hall were constructed on the park’s land, asked the judge. The bench also raised questions over the quality of swings at the park.
The defence counsel informed the court that they had nothing to do with the shops on the park’s land.
The apex court ordered to hand over the Askari Amusement Park to KMC in two weeks with a directive to demolish the shops and marriage hall established on the land.