Lahore: According to media sources, the Lahore High Court (LHC) has concluded that the Lahore Development Authority (LDA) does not have the authority to impose a conversion fee under its 2014 rules from roads or parts of highways designated as commercial or converted to commercial.
The demand for a one-time conversion charge, according to Justice Ayesha A Malik, is in violation of the LDA’s mission because it is not defined in Section 28 of the LDA Act.
Furthermore, the court stated that newspaper demand notices cannot be utilized to collect conversion fees.
In 2014, a number of petitions were filed by property owners or tenants in response to the LDA’s demand notice for a conversion fee to be paid for conducting commercial operations on their land.
The demand notices were met with opposition from certain petitioners. Others, on the other hand, objected to newspaper advertisements stating that commercial areas (as defined in the advertisements) and the general public have seven days to convert their properties to commercial after paying the conversion cost.
The petitioners were also reported to have been doing commercial activities on the site for a long time and had paid the conversion price. They’ve also gotten all of the appropriate approvals. The petitioners argue that the LDA lacks the authority to impose a one-time conversion fee.
The court was advised by the LDA counsel that the LDA 2014 regulations had been superseded by the LDA 2020 regulations. As a result of the new rules, which revived the concept of temporary commercialization, several petitions have become obsolete.
Justice Malik ruled that the LDA could not charge conversion costs on commercial roads after hearing both sides.