Cosmopolitan Club taken over
By Khawaja Naseer
LAHORE: The Punjab Agriculture Department has taken over the Cosmopolitan Club in violation of a stay order granted by a civil court, club officials said on Sunday.
Cosmopolitan Club President Senator Syed Dilawar Abbas Shah told Daily Times that the matter should have been resolved through dialogue. He accused provincial bureaucrats of conspiring to take over the club, which is located in Lawrence Gardens.
A civil court had granted the club a stay order against the Agriculture Department’s expected takeover. The club was sealed on June 9 following a dispute between club members.
The club’s vice president said that the city government, on directions from Punjab Chief Secretary Kamran Rasool, got an order from a local sessions court to unseal the club on Saturday night. They then took over the club.
Club officials said when they went to the club on Saturday, a deputy district officer of the city government, accompanied by about 30 men and Civil Lines police, were “ransacking the place”.
The club members showed them the stay orders of the civil court, but that did not stop them, they said. They were unable to get in contact with Civil Lines SHO Ali Imran, who had the keys of the sealed club, until around 8.00pm. He asked them to send him a written application about the matter.
Club Secretary Muhammad Shahid said the takeover was illegal. He said the director of floriculture in the Agriculture Department had asked the Punjab government to cancel the club’s lease, which runs until December 31. He said the civil court had said the club’s lease could not be cancelled.
Mr Shahid said they would approach the civil court on Monday seeking action against the city government DDO who took over the club on behalf of the Agriculture Department, the director of floriculture, the agriculture secretary and the chief secretary.