The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Monday accepted former chief minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah’s bail plea against a surety of Rs0.5 million in the case against illegal allotment of Malir drain land. A two-member bench, comprising Justice Umar Siyal and Justice Shamsuddin, heard the plea in which Shah appeared before the court.
Shah’s counsel, Barrister Zamir Ghumro, observed that the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had sent Shah a summon for December 18. The Malir drain land allotment was cancelled later, hence the court should annul the illegal call-up notice. NAB must be barred from arresting Shah, Ghumro said.
The court accepted Shah’s bail plea against a Rs0.5m penalty sum and directed Shah to cooperate with the accountability bureau. The court adjourned the hearing till the second week of February. Shah claimed that there was nothing in the case and yet the notice was sent to him. He added that NAB was engaging in vindictive actions as they were handing out verdicts since the new government had come to power. Giving verdicts against the leaders of political parties was unsuitable.
The land allotted had been cancelled. Court has to decide after seeing the facts. The government is doing nothing except for taking action against politicians. On December 26, Pakistan Peoples Party’s (PPP) central committees’ meeting will be held in which the future course of action will be decided, maintained Shah.
The SHC ordered to carry out an anti-encroachment operation on Nishtar Road, Sarya Gali and surrounding areas. A two-member bench, comprising Justice Hassan Athar Rizvi and Justice Adnan Chaudhry, heard the case relating to encroachments in these areas. The court directed the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) and superintendent of police to remove the encroachments within 10 days.
The court said that cases should be registered against those who are again setting up encroachments on the land that had been cleared in the anti-encroachment drive. The court remarked that shops had been demolished but pushcarts and stalls were still there. The court also inquired about who was taking money and allowing the pushcarts. Directing an operation to be carried out against encroachments and a report to be presented, the court adjourned the hearing till January 23.
Shahzeb murder case
The SHC on Monday, in review appeals submitted by the convict in the Shahzeb Khan murder case on completion of arguments by the public prosecutor, directed the lawyers of the accused to submit replies by January 14.
Headed by Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar, the bench heard the review appeals. A special court had awarded the death penalty to two accused and life-time imprisonment to other two in the Shahzeb Khan murder case. The Supreme Court is hearing the review appeals against sentences awarded by the SHC.
MQM leader Amir Khan
The SHC on Monday granted time to the defence lawyer to prepare arguments by January 1 in a review appeal against the punishment of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leader Amir Khan. A two-member bench, comprising Justice Naimatullah Phulpoto and Justice KK Agha, heard the review appeal in which the MQM leader appeared before the court. Khan’s lawyer, Advocate Mehmood Alam Rizvi, sought time for arguments and observed that the case was placed before a special bench, therefore time for preparation must be granted. The court remarked that Khan’s plea was under trial since 2003 and accepted the request.
Khan and others were charged with the murder of MQM-H member Anam Aziz when Khan was serving as the party’s general secretary. A subordinate court had sentenced Khan to 10-years imprisonment while his accomplice Nazim Kala’s punishment had been suspended and case had been sent to the subordinate court for review. Speaking to media, MQM-P deputy convener Amir Khan said that the party’s victory in the local government elections had proven its fame, adding that they had reservations over the way the general election seats were snatched from them. Khan said that they had already knocked the court’s doors regarding their concerns and were in coalition with the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).
However, PTI did not implement any single point of the written agreement that it had made. Some days earlier, during a conversation with Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Asad Umar, MQM-P had put forward its reservations, said Khan, adding that he was told that the agreement will be implemented upon.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 25th, 2018.