KARACHI: The Sindh High Court issued on Friday notices to all relevant departments, restricting them from taking action against the construction of Naya Nazimabad residential scheme.
A two-member bench, comprising Justice Syed Hasan Azhar Rizvi and Justice Zulfiqar Ahmad Khan, was hearing a plea challenging the letters written by the West district deputy commissioner (DC) on the matter.
The petitioner’s counsel, Advocate Haider Waheed, maintained that the Board of Revenue had attempted to take action against the construction, terming the move “illegal.” He claimed that efforts were being made to nullify the lease of the project’s land, adding that the Sindh Building Control Authority too had issued directives to cancel the layout plans.
The counsel said that the construction of the project was started with the approval of all relevant departments and hence, the letters by the DC and action taken to halt the construction were illegal.
The court restricted the relevant departments from taking action against the project’s construction, seeking replies from them on the plea by February 27.
Meanwhile, a bench comprising Justice KK Agha and Justice Mubeen Lakho upheld the death sentence meted out to nine persons found guilty of perpetrating an attack on a corps commander, Ahsan Saleem Hayat, in Karachi, and acquitted two others, Yaqoob Saeed Khan and Najeebullah, convicted in the case.
The verdict was announced during the hearing of a plea challenging the sentences awarded to the convicts.
An anti-terrorism court had handed death sentences to Attaur Rehman, Shehzad Bajwa, Danish Imam, Khurram Saifullah, Aziz Ahmed, Shehzad Mukhtar, Rao Khalid, Shoaib Siddiqi and Muhammad Khalid, after finding them guilty of the offence in 2006.
In the meantime, a plea seeking to hold Pakistan Super League (PSL) matches in Balochistan and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) was filed in the high court.
Petitioner Abdul Jaleel Marwat has stated in the plea that the people of K-P and Balochistan also want to see national and international cricketers playing at home grounds. The plea contends that Peshawar Zalmi [from K-P] and Quetta Gladiators [from Balochistan] have been crowned PSL champions, yet no match, from among the 34 scheduled, would be held in either of the two provinces.
The plea moves to the court to order the Pakistan Cricket Board to organise matches in K-P and Balochistan.
Counter reply sought
Meanwhile, a two-member bench comprising Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar and Justice Yousuf Ali Sayeed sought a counter-reply from a petitioner, following the submission of a report during the hearing of a plea pertaining to faulty security arrangements at shrines.
The petitioner, Ahmed Dawood, termed the security arrangements at shrines in Karachi “unsatisfactory” in his plea. Claiming the lack of proper security arrangements at mosques and shrines, excluding Abdullah Shah Ghazi shrine, the plea states that security lapses pose a threat to citizens’ lives and safety.
Police too have submitted a report by the Karachi police chief, according to which just 58 police officials have been deputed at 313 shrines across the city and only 10 officials are deployed at Abdullah Shah Ghazi shrine during a single shift.
The petitioner informed the court that utility bills for shrines and mosques, worth millions of rupees, had gone unpaid for the past five years. Maintaining that the Auqaf Department owed Rs45.3 million to K-Electric, the petitioner presented copies of the unpaid bills to the court. The power utility has also sent letters to various shrines and mosques, warning them of removing the connections if the bills remained unpaid.
The court adjourned the hearing till March 18 after seeking the petitioner’s reply to the report submitted by the police.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 15th, 2020.