SC rejects review petitions, says Nasla Tower verdict to stay
Rejecting the petitions filed in the Supreme Court (SC), seeking review of its decision in the Nasla Tower demolition case, the SC on Wednesday upheld its previous decision of razing the tower, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.
The apex court’s Karachi Registry, on the occasion, also asked the concerned officials to submit to it a report on the steps taken to implement its orders.
The court also directed the Karachi commissioner to get the tower vacated within one month.
Speaking on the occasion, Advocate Muneer A. Malik, counsel for the Nasla Tower owner, argued that if the tower was razed to the ground, other structures built in the city would have to be demolished too since they also fell in the same category as that of Nasla Tower. “Even your home and mine, which are also in this city, risk getting flattened,” Advocate Malik said while addressing Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Gulzar Ahmed.
“If my home is also ‘illegal’, bulldoze my home too,” the CJP replied.
When Advocate Malik prayed to the court to also make Sindh Muslim Society party to the case, Justice Ijazul Ahsan cut him short and asked him to restrict himself to the case. “The problem is that the piece of land on which the tower was built does not belong to your client,” the judge told Malik.
He also asked counsel for the petitioner as to how on earth the piece of land which was originally 780 square yards expanded to 10, 80 square yards.
The counsel suggested to the court to task the Karachi commissioner to inspect the land on which the tower was built.
Justice Ijazul Ahsan told Muneer A. Malik that the SC was not satisfied with his arguments. “Go and see the map. You will notice that Service road is also part of the tower,” he added.
The CJP remarked that he had seen all these areas of the city. “And so have you,” he said while addressing Advocate Malik.
When petitioner’s counsel said that the problem was that the SC had ordered the demolition of entire tower, the CJP remarked that if his client was able to raze part of the tower built on the occupied land, then he better razed it. “But the question is; can you raze part of the tower?” CJP Gulzar asked, adding, “It is amazing that now when the building has been built, you are talking about its partly demolition.
When Advocate Malik said that the court had even created room in the Bahria Town case, the CJP reminded him that it was entirely a different case.
Advocate Malik said emphatically that his client had not occupied somebody’s land to build the tower.
Justice Ijazul Ahsan replied that your client had encroached upon the land.
Petitioner’s counsel told the court that one of Sindh chief ministers had given this land to his client. “We are not living in the era of Mughal emperors that a CM can do anything he likes,” remarked Justice Ahsan.
The Supreme Court of Pakistan, on June 16, 2021, had ordered to immediately raze to the ground the 11-storey residential building Nasla Tower on Karachi's Sharae Quaideen.
During the marathon hearing at the Karachi Registry of the petitions filed against the encroachments in the mega city, Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Gulzar Ahmed issued the orders for demolition of the Nasla Tower.
Rejecting the pleas of the builder and the residents, the apex court declared the building as illegal.
Reporter Bilal Ahmed