LAHORE: Lahore High Court (LHC) on Friday declined a request for the immediate de-sealing of South Asian Free Media Association (SAFMA) secretariat and sought a reply from the Lahore Development Authority (LDA) on a plea submitted against the closure.
Justice Shahid Karim heard the petition filed by the media association through its director and also issued notices to LDA for August 7.
Earlier, the petitioner’s counsel, arguing before the court, submitted that an LHC bench had ordered LDA to decide the SAFMA application for permission to use its premises as a school for media while disposing of a petition, filed by a neighbour against commercial use of a Shadman residential area by SAFMA.
“However, LDA turned down the application saying that the premises did not have required space for the purpose and ordered to restore the residential status of the SAFMA premises,” he added.
He said that SAFMA then submitted an application to the authority for allowing it to use the premises as a library, but the authority, during the pendency of the application, sealed SAFMA premises without any notice.
The lawyer also said that under LDA laws, a school or library could be established in any residential area, pleading with the court to order the immediate de-sealing of the premises as the step was taken with “mala fide intentions”.