Swat: Several families from the Madyan area have petitioned the Peshawar High Court’s Mingora Bench, requesting that the law be declared unconstitutional and in violation of citizens’ fundamental rights, after the administration demolished their homes under the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa River Protection Act, 2014.

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Mohammad Jamal and seven other residents of Jugar Galai, Hospital Colony, filed a combined petition with the court, requesting that the respondents, comprising the province government and district administration, compensate them for their losses and pay damages.

The petition was brought by Advocate Muambar Khan, a former additional district and sessions judge, against the provincial government, which is represented by the chief secretary, secretary law and legislative affairs, and the Swat district administration.

The petitioner claimed that the KP River Protection Act, 2014 was incompatible with and in violation of the fundamental rights guaranteed by Article 8 of the Constitution, and hence had no legal standing.

They claimed to be long-term residents of Jugar Galai, Hospital Colony, Madyan, and that they had lawfully purchased the land and built residences on it.

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The petitioners claimed that they all had legal paperwork for their lands, according to the revenue records, but that their homes were nonetheless demolished. They claimed that they had been evicted. They also stated that they had major financial difficulties as a result of being compelled to live in filthy rental houses.

They alleged that not only were they evicted from their homes, but that their homes were also demolished, causing them significant financial losses.

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