Religious matter: Take action against officials, KMC told

SC takes up suo motu proceedings again on conversion of alMarkaz-e-Islami centre into cinema


Our Correspondent June 09, 2016
A file photo of the Supreme Court of Pakistan. PHOTO: EXPRESS

ISLAMABAD: Expressing concern over the conversion of an Islamic centre into a cinema, the Supreme Court has ordered the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) to take action against the officials involved in the matter.

A three-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali, took up suo motu proceedings on Thursday regarding the alleged conversion of alMarkaz-e-Islami building into a cinema house.

The proceedings were initiated over a letter written by Jamaat-e-Islami Karachi amir Naeemur Rehman Siddiqui to the Chief Justice of Pakistan on March 15. The applicant stated that there is tangible evidence showing that the building was constructed for religious purposes in Federal B Area's Block 7.

The letter has alleged that kalima-e-tayyab was written on the front of the central building but later the kalima was erased. The applicant contends that erasing of the kalima is not only a 'sin' but also a violation of the country's laws. The letter claims that alMarkaz-e-Islami was an advanced Islamic research and cultural centre in Karachi.

During the last hearing on May 11, the KMC had submitted a written reply to the court. The KMC's counsel informed the court that permission was not sought from the competent authority to convert the Islamic centre into a cultural centre.

Earlier, advocate Taufiq Asif, appearing on behalf of Siddiqui, argued that the idea behind the construction of alMarkaz-e-Islami was primarily conceived by the then Karachi mayor Abdul Sattar Afghani in December 1980. It was also decided that the building would be constructed for alMarkaz-e-Islami.

The chief justice asked KMC administrator Laeeq Ahmed whether the conversion of the Islamic centre into a cultural centre was lawful as well as an Islamic centre could be made into a cinema. He directed the administrator to take action against the persons responsible for the conversion.

The court said that the administrator is independent in taking administrative action. Advocate Khawaja Jawwad, appearing on behalf of Fun Rama Cinema, said that the city government had not granted permission to run the cinema and requested time to submit a written statement in this regard. The judges accepted his plea and adjourned the case till second week of July.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 10th, 2016.

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