KP govt challenges BRT inquiry order in apex court.


ISLAMABAD -- The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government challenged in the Supreme Court on Tuesday a directive for the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to probe the controversial Peshawar Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) project.

A joint appeal, moved by the provincial government through the KP chief secretary and secretaries of the local government and rural development and transport departments, requested the apex court to overturn the Nov 14 judgement in which the Peshawar High Court had formulated 35 questions and referred them to the FIA for a thorough inquiry.

The advocate general of KP will represent the provincial government when the case will be taken up by Supreme Court.

The petition argued that a bare perusal of the PHC judgement revealed that a letter or some reports had been reproduced in the verdict and while copying the text even the flag mentioned in the letter was not omitted which had been incorporated in the judgement, although it did not have any annexure of its own.

In its Nov 14 judgement, PHC directed FIA to investigate the controversial Peshawar bus project

The appeal contended that planning, designing and initiation of the BRT project were meticulously examined by the PHC in a previous proceeding in 2017 in which it was held that the project was up to the mark and, therefore, the recent order indicated malice in law. The high court judgement was also hit by the principle of res judicata and suffered from lack of jurisdiction, it argued.

The petition contended that the high court had travelled beyond its jurisdiction in deciding factual and technical controversy in writ jurisdiction, which could not be resolved without recording of evidence. It wondered whether the high court was competent to discuss technical aspects of the BRT project in the absence of any technical expertise without acquiring any expert in the relevant field.

While deciding the case, the PHC had held that the concept of town planning was Greek to the decision-makers as Peshawar was mainly fed by a single traffic artery of Khyber Road. Due to this factor alone, Khyber Road and branch roads are mainly congested, but no efforts were made to relocate the wholesale market outside the main city; besides the idea of ring road for the city that emerged in the 1980s also succumbed to the prescribed procedure, especially for a mega project.

The high court had deplored that the dysfunctional PC-1 of the project was approved from the PDWP and CDWP in April/May 2017 at a...

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