SHC orders inspection of construction on land reserved for a park

Published: March 22, 2018
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Sindh High Court. PHOTO: EXPRESS

Sindh High Court. PHOTO: EXPRESS

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) appointed on Wednesday its nazir to carry out inspection of alleged illegal constructions over an amenity plot measuring 11,266 square yards reserved for a public park in the Gulistan-e-Jauhar locality.

A two-judge bench, headed by Justice Syed Hasan Azhar Rizvi, directed the nazir to submit the inspection report within five weeks and adjourned the hearing till a date to be later notified by the office.

The directives came on a petition filed by a former legislator belonging to the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), Younus Barai, who along with other residents of Gulistan-e-Jauhar Block 15 had challenged encroachments on a 11,266 square yard plot reserved for a public park.

In the petition filed in 2013, the residents had argued that the amenity plot ST-32 was to be turned into a public park and its development was to be started by a private contractor as per the decision of the directorate of parks and horticulture of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC). However, armed land grabbers, who wanted to usurp the plot, did not allow the work on park, the petitioners alleged.

The petitioners cited the Supreme Court’s judgments, according to which no private or commercial construction could be carried out on an amenity plot.

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Therefore, the former JI legislator and other petitioners pleaded to the SHC to order the KMC and other authorities concerned to stop the land grabbers from encroaching upon the amenity plot.

During Wednesday’s proceedings, the petitioners’ lawyer recalled that in February, 2013, the court had passed an interim order that no construction be carried out on the subject plot except for the development of a public park, until the next date of hearing.

After rounds of hearings, the court had on October 19, 2015 reserved its verdict on the plea after hearing arguments from the lawyers representing the petitioners, KMC and others concerned.

The petitioners informed the court on Wednesday that private persons, in the meantime, had constructed buildings up to fourth floor in violation of the interim stay order passed by the court.

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The bench directed the nazir to carry out inspection of the plot in question to ascertain its physical position and submit the report within five weeks. The nazir was also directed to clearly mention the number of houses that had allegedly been built on the land in violation of the stay order and the nature of the constructions.

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