SC seeks Port Qasim response over environmental pollution

Despite directives given by the court, coal is being transported in open vehicles

​ Our Correspondent July 31, 2019
Port Qasim. PHOTO: FILE

KARACHI: The Supreme Court (SC) sought a response from the Port Qasim Authority (PQA) chairperson in two weeks over a contempt of court plea against him regarding environmental pollution caused by unsafe management of coal.

A two-member bench comprising Justice Faisal Arab and Justice Sajjad Ali Shah was hearing the contempt of court plea at the Supreme Court's Karachi registry. Petitioner Venu Adwani maintained that environmental pollution is a serious problem for Karachi. Former chief justice Saqib Nisar had directed the port administration to keep the coal protected. Despite the directives given by the court, the coal is lying under the open sky. Hazardous diseases are taking birth in the city due to unsafe management of coal. The coal is being transferred from one place to another in open vehicles through Port Qasim. "I have complained about this issue to all the relevant authorities but no one is willing to pay heed to my complaints," said Adwani.

The petitioner requested that contempt of court action should be initiated against PQA chairperson for ignoring the directives issued by the court. The court sought a reply from the chairperson in two weeks.

'Unfair' dismissal

The SC rejected the appeal against the service tribunal's decision of police official, Syed Irfan Hussain, who was dismissed from his job for allegedly promoting sectarianism and working for a neighbouring country, while maintaining the tribunal's decision.

A two-member bench comprising Justice Arab and Justice Shah was hearing the plea at Supreme Court's Karachi registry. Former police official Syed Irfan Hussain argued that a regular inquiry wasn't carried out against him and he was dismissed just over a show-cause notice.

The court remarked that the accusation of involvement in activities which promote sectarianism is very serious. A police official working secretly for a neighbouring country can't be taken lightly.

Justice Shah asked how a regular inquiry was possible on such serious allegations. Regular inquiry is done on the violation of any rule or law but it is about sectarianism and other serious allegations. The court rejected Hussain's appeal and maintained the decision taken by the service tribunal.

Contentious promotion

While hearing another plea filed by Sindh police department, the same bench rejected the Sindh police's appeal against keeping a police official, Jan Muhammad, on the post of head constable after getting promoted from the post of a chef in the police department.

Justice Shah remarked that the Sindh Police appointed a chef as head constable after taking three examinations and realised their mistake just after three months that he couldn't be made head constable. This is nothing but incompetence of the Sindh Police, he said. Why do they want to demote him to the post of a chef who has given three exams and 18 years of service to the department? Tell the court if there's a single head constable in the department who has passed matriculation, he remarked.

Justice Arab remarked that they think many of the assistant sub-inspectors of police wouldn't have passed matriculation either. Justice Shah remarked that they refrain from going forward with the demotion otherwise many police officials would have to be dismissed. This man would have served you a lot of dishes, let him stay on the post of head constable now. What do you want from him after passing three examinations?

The service tribunal has already rejected Sindh Police's plea against the post of head constable. The SC also rejected the plea against the decision of keeping the police official on the post of head constable.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 31st, 2019.

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