SC seeks legal status of gun club

President Asif Ali Zardari of Pakistan, Tuesda...

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ISLAMABAD, Aug 16: The Supreme Court, hearing a case pertaining to the lease of an additional 28 acres of prime land to Gun and Country Club on Tuesday wondered whether a private entrepreneur could run the club in presence of Pakistan Sports Board (PSB).

The observation came when a three-judge Supreme Court bench, comprising Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, Justice Amir Hani Muslim and Justice Ghulam Rabbani, was told that Faisal Sakhi Butt, a friend of President Asif Ali Zardari, was acting as the administrator of the Gun and Country Club.

The apex court had taken a suo motu notice on a news report regarding allotment of 72 acres of land worth billions of rupees to the gun’s club at the cheap rate of Rs10 million per acre.
Facilities like gun club should be developed in the country but should not be run by private individuals, the chief justice observed adding only the PSB could run it.

The gun club, spreading over 44 acres of PSB land, was established in November 18, 2002 through a notification issued by the Ministry of Sports, Culture and Tourism.

On June 18, 2011, the CDA Board after careful considerations acceded to a Sports Ministry’s request in which it sought execution of the lease deal for the 72 acres directly between the gun’s club and the authority.

In 1977, land measuring 145 acres, reserved for sports and recreation purposes, was allotted to the PSB in Zone A of the federal capital.

Of these 145 acres, 44 acres, housing gun and country club, was specifically reserved for shooting range.

On Tuesday, the apex court directed Attorney General Maulvi Anwarul Haq to ascertain whether the gun club was still the part of the PSB. The AG will also find out the legal status of the club and also whether it could be run independently under the relevant laws especially the Companies Ordinance 1984. The AG will submit a comprehensive report within two weeks.

Similarly, the administrator of the gun club was also directed to submit a comprehensive report regarding its affairs.

Hafiz Mudassar, the assistant director (legal) representing the cellular giant Mobilink, a brand partner of the club, was directed to submit a similar report.

In 2000, during the period of Gen (retired) Pervez Musharraf, the 9th SAF Games were proposed in Islamabad.

A steering committee had decided to construct a state of the art shooting facilities. Subsequently on February 15 2001, the SAF Games Secretariat requested the PSB to remove trees on the existing gun club site for constructing shooting range.

Acceding to the request, the PSB allowed construction of the shooting range on 44 acres of land. Later the facility was handed over to the gun club.

During the proceedings, the AG informed the court that since the sports ministry had been devolved to provinces after the 18th Amendment the apex court had to issue a notice to the Capital Administration and Development Division afresh.

Advocate Chaudhry Ramzan, representing the CDA sought time to resubmit a detailed report on the affairs of the club as desired by the court.


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