SHC issues notice to parties over demolition of Haider Manzil

Published: July 9, 2019
Sindh High Court. PHOTO: EXPRESS

Sindh High Court. PHOTO: EXPRESS

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) issued notices on Monday to relevant parties for next week over a petition against the demolition of Haider Manzil, the residence of senior politician GM Syed.

A two-member bench comprising Justice Shafi Muhammad Siddiqui and Justice Mahmood A Khan heard the petition.

The lawyer for the petitioner argued that important decisions, including Pakistan Resolution, were taken in the building. Justice Siddiqui remarked that the first resolution must be respected. The lawyer said that the builder demolished the building overnight. The court asked that if the building was not declared a cultural heritage, then how can the demolition be stopped.

Deputy Attorney-General Abdul Wahab Baloch argued that the provincial government had completed the survey and had approved the proposal to declare the building a cultural heritage site. The court inquired if the building had been declared a cultural heritage. The petitioner’s lawyer informed the court that the building should have been declared a cultural heritage. The court asked how they could prove that the resolution had been approved in this building.

The deputy attorney general argued that Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah had stayed there. The court remarked that was the resolution passed because Jinnah had stayed there and asked for documents. Baloch said that the resolution was prepared here and passed in the assembly. The court issued notices to the relevant parties for next week, summoning a reply.

Arguments sought

The SHC sought arguments on appeals against the death sentence awarded to terrorists by a military court in the Safoora Goth incident.

A two-member bench comprising Justice Naimatullah Phulpoto and Justice Irshad Ali Shah heard the appeals. The counsel for the convicts did not appear before the court.

The defence ministry and the interior ministry did not submit responses. The court directed the ministries to submit responses at the next hearing. The court also sought arguments regarding maintainability of the petition on August 16.

SHC issues notices to defence secretary, KP chief secretary in missing persons cases

A military court had awarded the death sentence to Saad Aziz, Tahir Minhas, Azhar Ishrat, Hafiz Nasir and Asadur Rehman. The petitions maintained that the details of the cases are not being shared with the accused and also requested for a meeting to be arranged with the family members.

PSM’s fate

The SHC expressed displeasure over failure to issue provident funds and gratuity to the retired employees of Pakistan Steel Mills. Summoning the federal finance secretary and production secretary, the court also sought complete details pertaining to selling Pakistan Steel Mills’ land.

A two-member bench comprising Justice Siddiqui and Justice Khan heard the case pertaining to the non-issuance of provident and gratuity funds to the retired employees of Pakistan Steel Mills.

The counsel for the petitioners maintained that the federal government had sold 1,500 acres of land of the organisation in January 2018 and nobody has any clue about the Rs206 billion obtained from its sale.

The retired employees wailing in the courtroom said that the government is paying the deceased but nothing is being done for the people who are alive.

Attorney-General Anwar Mansoor Khan maintained that the cabinet had rejected the proposal to grant Pakistan Steel Mills to the private sector and instead decided to make the mills viable via public-private partnership (PPP). Employees are being paid despite no production of steel. As soon as permission is given to run the steel mills on PPP modality, cash flow will begin. Since the joint secretary is busy, finance secretary should be called, he added.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 9th, 2019.

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