IHC Says Supreme Court Was Tricked Into Reopening Monal Restaurant

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has grilled the administration of Monal Restaurant for tricking the Supreme Court of Pakistan (SCP) into reopening the eatery in the heart of the Margalla Hills.

The development emanated during the intra-court appeal of Monal Restaurant held on Thursday. A two-member bench of the IHC including Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb heard the appeal.

For context, last week, a three-member bench of the SCP headed by Justice Ijaz-ul-Ahsan had ordered to reopen Monal Restaurant after its lawyer, Makhdoom Ali Khan, informed the apex court that the eatery was sealed without receiving the official judgment signed by the Chief Justice IHC, Justice Athar Minallah.

Justice Ijaz-ul-Ahsan got convinced and suspended the IHC order, observing that the decision of the single-member bench of the IHC was executed without the signature of the author judge.

During Thursday’s hearing, the two-member IHC bench asked Monal Restaurant’s lawyer to explain why the apex court was misled and why did he submit the unsigned copy of the IHC’s order instead of a signed copy.

To this, Monal Restaurant’s lawyer in IHC, Sardar Taimoor Aslam, clarified that he did not represent the eatery in the apex court and excused to comment on behalf of Makhdoom Ali Khan.

However, IHC’s record shows that Justice Athar Minallah had issued a short order to seal Monal Restaurant in January this year. Not only was the order signed the same day, but one of the parties to the case also obtained a certified copy of the order.

On 11 January 2022, IHC had ordered the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) administration to seal Monal Restaurant and Margalla Greens Golf Club.

The IHC had also ordered the capital administration to give control of the restaurant and golf club to the IWMB which will reintegrate these facilities into MHNP in line with environmental protection laws of the country.