A division bench of the Sindh High Court comprising Chief Justice Mushir Alam and Justice Syed Muhammad Farooq Shah ordered the board of revenue and the provincial and local government to submit the record of rights by Thursday in a 30-acre land case.
The hearings of a number of petitions on this issue were adjourned till September 20.
Dozens of citizens who purchased plots from the now defunct Karachi Development Authority (KDA) in 1977 were allotted plots after balloting. Despite paying for the cost of the land, they have not been given possession yet.
Barrister Abdur Rahman, who is representing the petitioners in the case, stated that Scheme 36 of Gulistan-e-Jauhar was originally launched by KDA after the Sindh government transferred 2,000 acres to it. The Sindh government later took back 30 acres. This was prime land adjacent to the ‘Dubai Palace’. He alleged that it was the modus operandi of the land mafia and government officials to focus on prime property and then start litigation on one pretext or other. MM Pirzada, representing the board of revenue, claimed that the allotment of the 30 acres was cancelled when KDA failed to pay for the land.
The counsel for the city government Najamuddin Sikandar said that KDA paid one-tenth of the agreed price. A dispute later emerged between the Sindh government and KDA as it owed Sindh billions of rupees. One of the lawyers for the petitioner said that the dispute between the government and the KDA needs to be tackled at their level, and not at the cost of the petitioners. The counsel for interveners who reportedly purchased the 30-acre plot from villagers of Gabol goth asked for time. The case will be heard at noon on September 20.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 13th, 2012.
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