Retrieve PR land in one week, SC tells babus
CJP raps Secretary Railways, Sindh govt for negligence over SC order's implementation
The Supreme Court of Pakistan Thursday ordered the Karachi Commissioner to retrieve occupied land in one week and demolish all buildings, housing societies and petrol pumps illegally constructed on railways land in the metropolis.
A three-member bench presided by Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Gulzar Ahmed and comprising Justice Faisal Arab and Justice Sajjad Ali Shah, heard the case pertaining to the restoration of KCR in the Supreme Court’s Karachi Registry.
Federal Secretary for Railways, Karachi Commissioner, Mayor and the Sindh Advocate General appeared before the bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Gulzar Ahmed.
CJP Justice Gulzar warned that the Court may issue contempt of notices to Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah and other officials of the provincial government if they fail or refuse to comply with a 2019 order regarding the recovery of encroached Railways land in the city.
Karachi Police Chief Ghulam Nabi Memon, Mayor Waseem Akhtar, Sindh Chief Secretary Mumtaz Ali Shah, Secretary Railways appeared before the court. The court also issued a contempt notice to Sindh Provincial Minister for Labour Saeed Ghani over his remarks of not removing the encroachments.
During hearing, Chief Justice Gulzar questioned the railways secretary whether or not the court order for restoration of circular railway and local trains was implemented. The secretary replied in negation, expressing the railways inability to restore the circular railway due to construction of the green line.
Sindh Advocate General informed the court that circular railway project has been included in the list of projects to be executed under the CPEC. He claimed the province has sent a framework thrice to the federal government after its completion.
CJP expressed his astonishment that “you didn’t restore the circular railway and instead included it in the CPEC listed projects.”
While expressing anger on the railways secretary Justice Gulzar said: “Don’t misguide the court by indulge in stories telling like an officer.”
The secretary replied that the Sindh government accepted responsibility of the project, to which the CJP said: “If you can’t do anything then go to home. You are not an employee of someone but a railway secretary.”
The railways secretary claimed that the provincial government is a hurdle in the project and as per the agreement it is responsibility of the provincial government.
The CJP said: “I will summon the Sindh CM to ask who is responsible for the project.”
The Sindh advocate general, however, termed narrative of the secretary railways “nothing but a falsification.”
He informed the court that it was responsibility of the railways to take care of its land and retrieve it from occupation.
Warning of contempt to Sindh CM
CJP Gulzar said that as per agreement, the railway ministry is not doing its job. He pointed out that exchange of accusations will serve no purpose and instead diligence will help address the problems.
At one of point during hearing, the SC bench warned of issuing the contempt of court notices to the Sindh CM, Mayor Waseem Akhtar and the secretary railways.
The bench briefly adjourned the hearing and sought a copy of the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council report regarding handing over of the KCR to the Sindh government.
During hearing, the Sindh Revenue Board submitted a report regarding cancellation of land allotment of Royal Park Residency adjoined to Deen Park.
The SC bench, however, rejected the report and questioned how the land was allotted to a person from Dubai?
“Who is this Naseer Hussain Lotha? Who and how the land was allotted to him?” CJP asked.
In his remarks, the chief Justice questioned the officers as to why they are not willingly making efforts to make Karachi a beautify and clean city?
The court also expressed dissatisfaction over performance of the local bodies secretary.