- Respondent should act in accordance with Cantonment Act, 1924. Commercial use of residential property must be stopped.
- An elaborate program should be devised to control illegal commercial use of residential property.
- Current practice in violation of section 180 and 181 of Cantonment Act, 1924.
RAWALPINDI: A writ petition has been filed in Lahore High Court’s Rawalpindi bench against the commercial use of property in Rawalpindi Cantonment board by Sardar Khan Niazi, Chief Executive, Rafay Mall, Peshawar Road, Rawalpindi. Respondents in the writ petition are Station Commander, Cantonment Board, Rawalpindi Division. The Rawalpindi Cantonment Board through its Executive Officer and Chaklala Cantonment Board office.
The petitioner Sardar Khan Niazi has respectfully prayed the honourable court that a writ may kindly be issued to the respondent directing to act in accordance with the mandate of cantonment act, 1924, prohibit the use of residential buildings into commercial use and to launch a program to control the illegal commercial use of the residential buildings. According to the section 178 of the Cantonment Act, 1924 no person can erect or re-erect a building on any land except with the previous sanction of the cantonment board. According to the section 179 whoever intends to erect or re-erect any building in a cantonment shall also apply for sanction by giving notice in writing of his intention to the board. The section 180 of the cantonment act, 1924 is particularly important, according to section 180, a person giving the notice required by section 179 shall specify the purpose for which it is intended to use the building to which such notice relates. The section 181 (2) is quite important under which the board may refuse to sanction the erection or re-erection of any building either on grounds sufficient in the opinion of the Board affecting the particular building, or in the pursuance of a general scheme sanctioned by the Officer Commanding-in-Chief, the Command, restricting the erection or re-erection within specified limits for the prevention of over crowding or in the interests of persons residing within such limits or for any other public purpose.
It can therefore be said that if the sanction for a residential building is granted by the board, the owner cannot use it as a commercial building. However there are numerous buildings in Rawalpindi cantonment that are being used for commercial purposes, despite the fact that the sanction from the board was sought as a residential building. The commercial use of residential buildings has created many problems for the residents; there are usually long queues outside these buildings causing hindrance in traffic. The privacy of residents is also being severely violated.
It is pertinent to mention that S.K Niazi has a long history of struggle for rule of law and fundamental rights of the citizens of Pakistan. This writ petition is one step forward towards his cause.