LAHORE: The Supreme Court (SC) on Saturday ordered the Punjab government and the city district government to take over all 24 petrol pumps, being run on the state land in the city despite cancellation of their leases, and auction them through open bidding.
A two-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, was hearing a matter regarding handing over of the state land on lease on throwaway prices, without adopting a transparent manner. Deputy Commissioner Lahore Saleha Saeed submitted a report before the court and said there were 32 petrol pumps, established on the state land in the provincial capital. Four of them were established on the land of Municipal Corporation of Lahore (MCL), while 20 were on the land of the provincial government. The land of remaining eight pumps had already been acquired by the government for the Orange Line Metro Train project. The DC pointed out that owners of all 24 pumps had not been vacating the possession of the land for several years, though their leases had expired. One of the owners had been running his fuel stations on stay orders, obtained from lower courts, though the lease period had expired in 1961, she added. Owners of the petrol pumps were also present in the court along with their counsel. However, the chief justice rejected their arguments. He observed that the court would not allow misappropriation of the state lands. The chief justice ordered the DC to immediately seal the petrol pumps and put them on sale through auction.