KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) issued notices on Monday seeking responses pertaining to a petition filed by fishermen against prohibitions on taking their boats out to deep sea.
The two-member bench, comprising Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar and Justice Yousuf Ali Sayeed was hearing a petition moved by fishermen from Rehri Goth, Lath Basti, Ibrahim Hyderi and Chashma Goth.
The counsel for the fishermen, Irfan Aziz, claimed that Port Qasim security guards did not let the fishermen take their launches to the deep sea, adding that the guards often also took their catch from them.
He informed the court that the Port Qasim Authority had constructed a bridge that made it difficult for fishermen to go further out for fishing, pleading the bench to investigate the legal status of the bridge and take action against those responsible for it.
Aziz further stated that toxic chemicals were also being thrown into the sea, destroying marine life. He urged the court to impose a ban against the disposal of such hazardous materials in the sea.
Issuing notices and ordering respondents to appear in court, the bench adjourned the hearing till January 28.
The bench also issued notices to the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) and the senior veterinary director over a plea filed against illegal slaughterhouses and the sale of substandard meat in the city, summoning the latter to court in the next hearing.
The petitioner’s counsel maintained that illegal slaughterhouses are operational and substandard meat is being sold in the provincial capital through collaboration with the KMC.
The petitioner also moved the court to pass an order to sell meat according to the rate list issued by the Karachi Commissioner.
The court asked what action the veterinary department is taking in regard to this matter. It sought replies from the KMC and the senior veterinary director by January 28, while summoning the latter to court in a personal capacity in the next hearing.
A two-member SHC bench, comprising Justice Iqbal Kalhoro and Justice Irshad Ali Shah issued notices to the Sindh prosecutor general pertaining to a plea filed by Abdullah Rajput, the senior deputy prosecutor general, seeking security.
The petitioner’s counsel, Hassan Sabir, maintained that Rajput represents the state in major cases in the SHC and anti-terrorism courts (ATC). He informed the court that two attacks have been carried out on Rajput, while his son has also been attacked.
Sabir said that Rajput had submitted requests to the prosecutor general and the Sindh AIG asking for security, adding that the state is responsible for providing security to every prosecutor according to the Anti-Terrorism Act.
He asked the court to order the government to provide security to Rajput given the threats he was facing.
The bench issued a notice to the Sindh prosecutor-general and ordered him to submit a written reply by February 3.
Mureed Abbas murder
In a separate case, the bench disposed of a plea filed against the verdict passed by an ATC in the Mureed Abbas murder case after it was withdrawn by the petitioner.
The petitioner’s counsel stated that the deceased’s widow wanted the trial of the accused, Atif Zaman and Adil Zaman, to be completed soon, adding that the trial should continue in the sessions court.
Abbas’ widow withdrew the plea challenging the ATC’s verdict, in which Anti-Terrorism Act charges were removed from the case.
The court disposed of the case.
Gutka, mainpuri ban
The same bench ordered the continuation of action against gutka, mainpuri and mawa. The court was hearing a plea pertaining to the ban imposed on these substances in the province.
The Sindh government submitted a reply in court stating that legislation regarding the ban had been completed and forwarded to the Sindh governor after the provincial cabinet’s approval.
Police officials also submitted a report stating that there is a complete and strict ban on the substances, adding that cases were being registered against gutka, mainpuri and mawa vendors under Section 337-J of the Pakistan Penal Code.
According to the report, 395 suspects were arrested and charged in 356 cases in Malir district in 2018, out of which 320 of the accused were sentenced and the rest were acquitted. The report added that 1,997 kilogrammes of gutka and betel nuts were seized in the district. Meanwhile, 328 cases were registered in Thatta district.
Ordering authorities to continue taking action against the banned substances, the court adjourned the hearing till February 10.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 14th, 2020.